Politicians failing renters
Most candidates standing for election expressed concern for the housing challenges facing Whanganui and the nation.
This is a laudable sentiment but what is to be done about it?
In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it is considered the basic needs for humans to survive and prosper are food, water, warmth and rest, followed by security and safety.
Maslow's intention was to identify the pathway to self-sustainable motivation and achievement. The fulfilment of a large percentage of these basic needs is linked to adequate housing.
Sadly, that is not reality for many people who rent. Therefore, have our political pointyheads, both local and national, failed to deliver on what they were elected for - managing for the common good?
The practice of increasing rents in tandem with house prices without improvement in the standard of the property is extortion. The Government has made a token gesture by legislating for insulation and ventilation.
This improves the standard of the rental but many landlords have taken advantage of this forced cost by increasing the rent, when adequate ventilation and insulation should have been part of an acceptable home in the first place.
To add insult to injury, renters are also charged a bond, which increases in relation to the rental charged. This practice hides behind the "bad renters" philosophy and can be up to four weeks' rent and in many cases over $2000.
Where in law can a person be fined before they have committed an offence? This money belongs to the tenant and by law should be lodged with the bond centre. There is no means of monitoring that this has happened. There is a mounting number of cases coming to light of landlords failing/neglecting to lodge the bond. This is theft.
In this climate of booming house prices, the owner of any rental not only has gained equity in their property (therefore reducing the mortgage) but also has a tenant who is paying off that mortgage while, in many cases, living in substandard housing that has not been upgraded for years.
The Government needs to appoint independent assessors to value the standard of accommodation related to a uniform rent to be charged. The bond should be scrapped. There is a process in place if damage or unpaid rent has occurred. This is a risk that all landlords and rental managers should be prepared to take when managing their business.
Try using the bin
Regarding the letter from Caleb and Cody, Carlton School (October 5).
I agree with them regarding rubbish on roadsides. Recently I have collected rubbish from rural roads in Marton. What concerns me is the vast majority is empty containers labelled alcohol. Are the drivers throwing them out the car windows?
Wake up, NZ. Take your rubbish home.
What about the Parapara?
Finally, four-year-plus fix for Anzac Parade (October 11) - ha! I'd have to suggest, then, a 40-year-plus fix for the Parapara - if at all! Wait!
Teach the pedestrians
Instead of constructing road-user impediments near city schools in line with NZTA's Safer Journeys for Schools, how about we insist people are aware of pedestrian rules, conforming with them, and thus become aware of the consequences of not following rules and laws.
And, for instance, not to roam at random on carriageways.
Otherwise, imagine if we produce generations of youth who have no respect for rules and laws and an utter disdain of current entrenched consequences. Imagine.
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