The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers
(ANZASW) believes that a recently released report on
Property management in the rental sector should be prompt
urgent action from the government.
The report, released
by Anglican Advocacy, part of the Anglican Church
right wing, believes that a lack of effective regulation of
Property Managers have provided space for abuse, negligence
and even illegal practices that are committed
tenants, many of whom are afraid of the consequences of
ANZASW agrees with the reports
recommendation that real estate managers should be legal
required to establish a code of conduct, obtain and be licensed
subject to more overview to prevent future
abuses. ANZASW recommends that regulations be given
by a newly established legal authority, to ensure that
statements about complaints are fully enforceable.
Association believes that, with a large number of new
Zealanders frozen from a priceless housing market and
forced to rent, this problem should be immediate
addressed as part of the government's ongoing investigation into
the rental sector.
We also believe that
increased regulation of the industry would play an important role
role in fighting the problem of cold, damp and
mold affected houses that have a disproportionate influence
families and minorities with a low income.
One in ten
houses in the country are not suitable to live in, according to
research by Otago University; inevitably it is those who
are the poorest who are forced to risk their health by living in it
such properties, many of which are handled by Property
The Church's report documents matters
which tenants repeatedly complained about mold, humidity
and a lack of heating in their homes, but were ignored by
Property Managers. The report notes that no response is received
to complaints was "the most common problem tenants and
Landlords reported. ".
The creation of a
legal regulator of Property Managers
option for tenants anxious to take their grievances
Tenancy Services or a Tenancy Tribunal. While the law
prevents punitive promises from being sent to tenants
reaction to Tribunal claims, many fear bad references or
delayed retaliation. In addition, records from Tribunal
orders are accessible online, a fact that can lead
prejudice against complainants who submit a new request
ANZASW hopes that every new supervisory body will opt for this
Property Managers can handle complaints with more privacy
protection than is the case with Tribunal claims.
The extent of the problem of unhealthy houses is
demonstrated in alarming statistics; tens of thousands
children are admitted to hospital each year because of the effects of
housing of poor quality, while 1,600 New Zealanders, a lot of
their elderly people die every year for the same reasons.
The effect of poor housing on the quality of life, mentally
health and physical well-being are perceived by social workers
on a daily basis, helping customers with
housing, financial, health or welfare related needs
to their living conditions. But while such support helps
treat the symptoms of the problem, the cause can not be complete
addressed, except at the level of government.
make real estate managers more responsible as part of a wider audience
efforts to tackle the housing crisis can be done by the government
improve the prospects of many New Zealanders throughout the world
land – and even save lives.
"For children who live
in unhealthy homes with families that are forced to choose
between heating and eating, the effects on their long term
development can be serious and sometimes irreversible, "
Lucy Sandford-Reed, Chief Executive of ANZASW says.
"It affects their school performance and in general
well-being in ways that often promote the cycle
poverty, "she added.
"Older people in Aotearoa
New Zealand is also increasingly confronted with similar ones
choices: they must rent a higher rate than
previous generations, often dependent on income from pensions
to get around, with little left over for basic necessities,
including heating and food, "she continued.
of these problems are aggravated in a situation where
Real estate managers use the power they have
their tenants to maintain unacceptable living conditions.
It is urgently necessary to make it legally enforceable
mechanisms by which Property Managers are negligent
or abuse can be called to account, "she concluded.
The association looks forward to action taken by
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford in the
near future on this topic.
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