Press release - ​ Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill misses the point



Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill misses the point 

Auckland, New Zealand - 5th May 2016 - "Heat pumps will become expensive ornaments for cash-strapped tenants", says landlords association.

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill falls short of providing a real solution the negative health effects some rental properties have on tenants, says the Auckland Property Investors Association which represents hundreds of landlords.

The association absolutely agrees that it is a landlord's duty to provide a healthy and warm home to promote their tenant's wellbeing, but installing expensive heat pumps into their properties doesn’t mean they'll be able afford to turn them on, says the association's vice president Peter Lewis.
“Let's not beat around the bush about this. The types of heating this Bill is anticipating are those energy efficient heat sources like a heat pump. Heat pumps are expensive to install. Making installation compulsory will decrease rental supply and increase rent, putting additional pressure on at-risk families this Bill is intending to protect,” says Lewis.
"Additionally, there is nothing in the Bill compelling tenants to turn on these heat sources.
"This Bill mistakenly assumes that a heat pump is the silver bullet fix to tragedies like Emma-Lita Bourne. It is not. There is nothing in the Bill that compels tenants to turn on the heat source even when it is installed. In fact, Emma-Lita’s home had insulation, heating and air ventilation system. What her family didn’t have was the funds the turn the heating on.” continues Lewis.
“As landlords, we have an interest in our tenant's health. We absolutely agree that there is a duty for us to provide a healthy and warm home to promote our tenants’ wellbeing. That said, compulsory (energy efficient) heating installation does not automatically make healthier tenants. It is not a real solution.”
There are a number of practical and cost efficient ways to lift the standard of life for Kiwi tenants including:
  • Giving at-risk families electricity vouchers during the winter months to cope with heating costs;
  • Providing government subsidies and tax relief for rental heat pump installation to ease pressure on rent; and
  • Broader public education on the correct usage of heating.
The Auckland Property Investors’ Association believes that these options should be explored as they are more likely to have a real effect on tenants’ health.
Peter continues, “If the focus of this Bill is on the kids whose health we need to protect, then let’s do just. Let's focus on real solutions that will give our tenants a positive outcome.”
*The Auckland Property Investors' Association is a not-for-profit association for landlords and property investors. The association aims to promote education and networking for its members in order to help them become better landlords and astute property investors. Visit for more information. 


Sandra Roberts

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