The Snitch Mentality Is in Full Swing

It took 4 days to get more than 40 complaints made against landlords who have not fitted the required insulation in their rental properties. So many things make me shake my head over this. First, there is the element of gross stupidity. If your landlord is the government, you might be okay… at least you may not be evicted; although there is no guarantee that you will get your insulation – or your $4,000 – any time soon. If you are renting from a private landlord, you might get your $4,000… and you might find yourself sleeping under a bridge in 3 months time.

The advice given was to talk to the landlord first. I see that advice has clearly been well heeded.

Tenants can win up to $4000 in damages if landlords fail to insulate rental properties. It’s led to more than 300 calls in two days from tenants seeking advice about whether their landlords are in breach of the law.
A Mangere taxi driver is upset his rental property is still not properly insulated three days after a new law came into effect.
Mohammed Rafique is looking to lodge a complaint against his landlord, while other Kiwi tenants are being urged to dob in landlords who have failed to ensure their properties are compliant.
Rafique rented a three-bedroom home on Massey Rd so he could have his children over on the weekends when he has custody, but said the lack of underfloor insulation made it freezing.
“The home is cold all the time,” Rafique said.

Well, at least you have a car you can live in once you receive the eviction notice, Mohammed. What exactly were you thinking by dobbing in your landlord?

Whistleblower tenants living in poorly insulated rentals have flooded tenancy call centres with queries since new insulation laws came into force this week.
Rental owners had until Monday to put floor and ceiling insulation into their properties – if practical – or risk paying fines up to $4000 to their tenants.
Yet three days later, many landlords appear to be still scrambling to bring their rentals up to scratch, property managers have reported.

I am in the same situation. We booked insulation for two of our properties in March and, due to the massive demand, they are scheduled to be done around mid July. The other property… we gave the tenant notice. He was exactly the type of person who would have gone to the Tenancy Tribunal on July 1st.

Now, I understand, he is living in compromised accommodation.

However, some owners had waited until six months out from the deadline to arrange insulation.
These owners were subsequently caught out by a shortage of insulation workers that had made it near-impossible to get their rentals compliant by deadline, Atkinson said.
One company had told Aspire it needed 14 weeks’ notice before it could visit a home to assess whether it needed insulation, while another required eight weeks’ notice.

It is the usual problem, and I don’t believe that landlords should be penalised for trying to book insulation 6 months in advance, and not making the deadline. It is not as if they are doing nothing.

A Newspaper.

However, in our new ‘tax and snitch’ environment, it doesn’t matter how good your intentions are. Just as in the eras of Mao Tse Tung or Joseph Stalin, people were rewarded for dobbing in others for failing to do the right thing… even if they fully intended to do the right thing.

Just one teensy weensy little thing though.

At this point in time, a landlord can give a tenant 90 days’ notice for no specific reason. You can contest it, if you think there is a legal issue, but at this point, you are probably going to lose. Landlords are mostly not that stupid.

So most of those tenants who have dobbed in their landlords for failing to fit the required insulation are going to find themselves moving on… and some of them, like our tenant, may find themselves struggling to find a place that is suitable to live.

This situation may change, however, as Phil Twyford has already indicated that the law may change making it practically impossible for landlords to evict tenants. If that happens, however, it will be the end of private rentals in this country, as most landlords will just sell up. This is not a place where investors, many of whom are small investors, are going to be told what to do with their assets.

The government will then singlehandedly be responsible for the worst level of homelessness in this country… ever. There are over 11,000 people on waiting lists for social housing, and that number is only going to get worse as private landlords get kicked even further.

Why are people so stupid? And for that matter, why is this government so stupid too?