Boarding house landlords will need licences to operate if
the Labour Party wins the election, housing spokesman Phil
But a Dunedin landlord expects any legislative change will
force landlords to increase rents.
Mr Twyford said an inquiry into boarding houses in New
Zealand by the parliamentary social services select committee
was presented to Parliament this month.
The inquiry found some boarding house tenants lived in
''unsafe, unsanitary and unhealthy'' conditions.
A licensing regime for boarding houses was supported by the
Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First.
But the select committee, which had a majority of National
MPs, did not recommend licensing.
Mr Twyford said vulnerable people were often left to rot in
If elected, Labour would overhaul legislation to make certain
landlords who did not meet standards could be declined
licences, ''to ensure a level of decency and safe and
The legislation would mandate councils to be responsible for
Labour would also provide more temporary and supported
The policies would be announced during the election campaign.
''We certainly think it needs to be made a priority.''
Dunedin boarding house landlord Ted Ottrey said he expected
the costs to administer licensing would be passed on to the
good boarding house landlords and rents would rise.
''It's another thing to push prices higher.''
National MP Melissa Lee, the select committee chairwoman,
said it did not recommend licensing because local territorial
authorities already had provision for a registration system.
Better information sharing between territorial authorities
and central agencies would address many of the issues.
Dunedin City Council environmental health team leader Ros
MacGill said if boarding houses were as bad as Mr Twyford
believed, then legislation was necessary.
''There must be a gap in the system if the conditions are
A complaint had to be made about a boarding house for the
council to act, Ms MacGill said.
''We don't have anything to do with these houses at the
moment, unless somebody unhappy about the conditions rings up
to complain, and we would have to investigate it from