Compulsory heating in rentals not the answer
Labour has reintroduced their Healthy Homes Bill which would make insulation and heating compulsory in rental
properties. When Phil Twyford first introduced the Bill in 2013 he correctly realised that a full WOF for rental
properties was expensive and not the answer for improving tenants lives and keeping children healthy.
The NZ Property Investors' Federation (NZPIF) agrees that focusing on insulation and heating is far more effective than
an expensive and wide ranging WOF for rental properties. However forcing expensive heating into every rental property is
not the right answer.
“We need solutions that focus on the real problems and those in real need” says Andrew King, Executive Officer of the
King says that in a membership survey last year, Property Investor Association members showed heat pumps were the main
form of heating that were being installed into their rentals. However members were installing these with the agreement
of their tenants not because they were forced to do so.
Energy efficient heaters are expensive and increase the cost of renting a property.
Labour states the tragic case of Emma-Lita Bourne as a reason for advocating there should be compulsory insulation and
heating. However Emma-Lita's home had insulation, heating and even an air ventilation system. What her family didn't
have was the funds to turn the heating on.
“Rather than making heating and insulation compulsory, the NZPIF believes that allowing them to be tax deductible or
providing subsidies for them would be a better strategy. This would reduce the pressure for rental prices to increase”
says King. “In addition, we believe that families such as that of Emma-Lita Bourne should be provided with electricity
vouchers during the winter months so they can turn their heater on.”