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'Poor old renter' will be 'hurt' by Government's healthy homes initiative, says Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges is concerned the Government's healthy homes initiative will drive up the cost of renting a property for tenants.

Yesterday the Government announced a higher standard of requirements for residential rental property owners to meet in order to ensure New Zealanders are able to live in warm, dry homes.

Speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today the National Party leader said it's "clearly not OK" that 47 per cent of houses are damp and mouldy, adding that the National Party "wants to see things improve" - but expressed concerns over who was footing the bill.

"The Government is well-intentioned, but what really concerns me ... the residential tenancy changes, actually, capital gains tax as well, is that it’s driving up rent some 40 bucks more a week, and you’re also limiting supply," Mr Bridges said.

"We've got a situation today. We have, for the first time, 10,000 people on the state house waiting list ... [the] Residential Tenancies Act, plus capital gains act – all that does is hurt the poor old renter who faces more cost, and actually finds it harder to find a place to rent in the first place."

Mr Bridges said he fears the cost of an implementation of a capital gains tax as well as the cost of the healthy homes initiative hitting landlords at the same time.

"What I do know is if you do all this in one big bang, say, 'Right, let's pile all this on,' … there's thousands of dollars of cost – who's going to pay that? It won't be the landlord.

"They won’t, because they won't have to – it'll be the renter, and they're already 40 bucks more a week worse off under this Government."

Private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new tenancy by July 1, 2021.

By July 1, 2023, all Housing New Zealand houses and registered Community Housing Providers houses must comply with the new standards.

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The National Party leader discussed the Government’s announcement for stricter rental housing standards on TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast