Warrant of Fitness for Rentals Unnecessary
The car equivalent of many rental homes.
"We have to ensure that our cars are properly warranted and fit for purpose before we can rent or sell them and yet landlords can rent any old dump," complained Mr Updawall. "People live in houses for extended periods but the time spent in our cars is often brief. The chance of an incident or illness from our cars, if they are roughly alright, is actually fairly limited compared to the effects on heath from living in a badly maintained house."
Mr Updawall explained the importance of a profitable rental car industry and the value in providing cheap cars to poor people. "If only we could provide some old tired bangers that still basically function so that many more poor people will be able to afford transport." He believed that excessive costs of making sure all cars were roadworthy and safe was just limiting the availability of cars and made it unprofitable for the industry.
"A Transport Supplement, similar to the Accommodation Supplement would also ensure more people could afford market rates".
Updawall was also concerned at the unfair treatment by the media.
"People complain and make a fuss when they don't like what is written on our well maintained rental cars and yet a house can be covered in nasty graffiti and it rarely generates comment. If our cars were responsible for 18 deaths a year and caused thousands of children to go to hospital then our industry will be placed under huge media and political pressure."
"All landlords have to do is have a smoke alarm and some insulation and even functioning doors and windows are optional. We would like to be able to rent similar cars, as long as they have brakes, seat belts and at least one door that opens, they should be alright to go."
"Standards for cars are now ridiculously high. Landlords are still allowed rent out hundred year old uninsulated wooden villas with coal ranges and single glazed windows and yet if I tried to rent a functioning forty year old car with wind up windows and drum brakes I would be forced out of business. The hypocrisy is unbelievable."
Housing Minister Nick Smith was approached for comment after attending a Sky City meeting of the Protection of Rental Investments and Capital Society (PRICS), where he tried to sell the legal requirement to have one smoke alarm in every rental house. There was concern that the new legislation will only reduce profitability and increase rents.
"Any cost you impose actually goes on to rents," Smith explained, "that will impact on the very families we are supposed to be helping."