Has Andrew Little not heard of power sockets?

Andrew Little wants to force all landlords to provide a heat source for rental properties.

He strangely thinks landlords will, out of the goodness in their hearts, not pass on the costs of providing said heat source.

Andrew Little says it’ll only be “greedy landlords” who hike rents on the back of his proposed Bill to insulate and warm homes.

The Labour leader’s Healthy Homes Guarantees Bill is set to be introduced to the House tomorrow which would make sure all rental homes in New Zealand are warm and dry, including a requirement for a heating source in every property.

A heating source? Does he specify what kind of heating source? A coal range? A fireplace? a two bar electric heater? A heat pump?  

Every option costs money, and landlords will pass on those costs, just like any business would.

The Bill would require any new leases 12 months after the law comes into effect to meet the standards, but landlords will have up to five years to meet requirements for leases which continue through that time.

Prime Minister John Key was concerned rents would go up as a result of the legislation.

“Even if they were to put a heat pump in, the question is ‘would someone actually use that?’ The answer is they might or might not depending on their financial circumstances.”

He says the Government is trying to provide a warmer and better environment for people but won’t have the cost passed on to the cost of tenancies.

“That’s why we’re in favour of insulation, operating smoke alarms, we think the issue of heat pumps is one step too far in private rentals.”

Why heat pumps? Has a heat pump manufacturer donated to Labour, or attended one of their fancy dinners with lobbyists?

But Mr Little rejected suggestions the new requirements would lead to an increase in rents, saying landlords will have plenty of time to absorb the cost.

“That in my view, is a cost landlords will be able to bear over that time, given the increasing value the property will enjoy over that period.

“This does not need to lead to hikes in rents, and only greedy landlords will be seeking to hike rents for this reason.”

It will lead to a hike in rents.

More to the point why does Labour think it is a landlord’s responsibility to provide a heat source…have they not heard of power sockets? Every household in NZ has power, tenants can provide their own heat source.

Or is Labour going to now prescribe precisely what types of heat sources are acceptable and then create an army of clip-board wielding inspectors to go around forcing tenants to use them?



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  • David Moore

    If I fit some 100w incandescent bulbs, does that count as a heat source?

    • Dave

      Ironically, YES, try putting 10 x 100 watt incandescent globes close together with a reflector behind them, a LOT of heat comes off them.

      • Brian Smaller

        Wouldn’t that use the same amount of power as a 1000W heater? If so, why not use a 1000W heater?

        • Dave

          Yes precisely, the incandescent globes were designed for light, heat was a by product, but still major….. It would work though.
          I have 5 x 200 watt incandescent globes set up in the workshop to act as a “load” for testing electrical gear, it works well, but also gives off a lot of heat.

      • David Moore

        10?! I wasn’t planning on spending that kind of money….

    • Totara

      Yes, but don’t forget that it is Labour Party policy to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs. So you might have to stock pile a few.

  • Michelle

    that man is so gobsmackingly thick it is beyond me how he puts his trousers on each day
    of course the rents will go up
    Next he will want landlords to pay the power bills for said tenants to be kept warm and a cleaner to clean the place weekly etc etc
    no incentive for the tenants to do anything for themselves even getting to the polling booth to vote for Labour would be too hard

  • Miguel

    Then just wait for the media beat-ups about poor tenants who didn’t know the ins-and-outs of using a heat pump, so just left it set to 22-degrees, 24-7, in older or poorly insulated houses, and now have very high monthly power bills which they can’t afford.

    • richard.b

      22? If only. We had a student live with us a while ago who would crank it up to 28 so they could then sit around in singlet and shorts in the middle of winter. We would come home and the house was like an oven, we could have slow cooked a pork roast.

  • Korau

    I’m doing my best with global warming to solve this “problem”.

    I’ve been involved with rentals for many years. Landlords, like any business, set their price for what the market will bear. If heating becomes mandatory this will cause a market movement (up) and it would be a foolish landlord who did not adjust rentals accordingly.

    The talk of “greedy” shows how hopeless this guy is. Has he never had anything to do with business management in the real world. The word “greedy” is one of the emotive trigger words so beloved of fools.

  • Dave

    Hey Andrew, no amount of heat will warm a house, if the Tenants trash the place, smash the windows, or leave the doors open. Perhaps you should regulate for self closing doors, and set a standard for any broken windows in rental properties to be fixed within 4 hours.

  • Toasty

    Aren’t these people also predicting a housing collapse of biblical proportions that threatens to bankrupt our country and render housing affordable for their voters. How will I pay for the heat pumps if the value of my properties goes through the floor?

  • Catriona

    Of course it will lead to a rent increase. Next thing he will ‘force’ landlords to add double-glazing and carpet as well. Then he’ll think providing woolrests for the beds another good idea. The man is an idiot – that much is obvious .

  • Cadwallader

    The next bill Little will champion will likely be for landlords to pay the power accounts of tenants who run their heating 24/7 throughout, the yet to arrive, winter. The thinking Little displays is such that he cannot accept people can largely think for themselves, perhaps this is the case for his constituency?

    • JustAnotherLurker

      Had some rentals which were not individually metered so power was included in the weekly rental. With ever increasing power charges, annual power cost soared from 10k to 30k pa. Installed efficient heaters (my cost) etc but tenants just ran heaters 24/7. Sold the block. Another house had heat-pump but tenants never turned it on as they had to pay the power and although the chimney was cracked and dangerous – they used the fireplace. Had to board it up. Andy ought to talk to real people before sounding off.

  • Crowgirl

    Time to disband the Labour Party – they have jumped the shark completely and are no longer fit for purpose. Obviously National are doing such a good job that there’s just nothing left to be fixed in NZ, leaving all the opposition parties scrabbling around the edges, looking to micro-manage us into oblivion. Useless.

    • Hard1

      “nothing left to be fixed in NZ”… There is one thing left to be fixed. You can’t leave school unless you can read and write and understand all basic life skills.

  • sheppy

    Presumably the fairy that lives under the money tree will come in several times a year, for free, to clean the filters on the heat pumps? Maybe Little’s mates in the Media have requested heat pumps so they can do many pimping the poor articles once the filters are neglected for a few months, and the power bills go through the roof.
    Yet again the Angry Little Man opens his mouth before engaging his brain!

  • RightyTighty LeftyLoosey

    Can we kill two birds with one stone? The amount of hot air that comes from Little could be used to heat many homes.

    • Abjv

      Nuh, also needs a dehumidifier because it is full of hot vapour which will lead to mould if not removed.

  • InnerCityDweller

    If I’m being forced to install that heat source, I’ll enforce it being used. Power bill going up? Sorry, send it to the angry one

  • jonno1

    My experience with heat pumps is quite variable. One tenant (from a hot country) ran it at 30deg most of the time. Another wouldn’t switch it on (just left the doors and windows shut and produced mould prolifically). A third declined the offer to install one, but aired the house well. All were “good” tenants overall, but all had some issues (eg filter-cleaning and other basic maintenance). In the end I sold these units and moved upmarket. Interestingly, the theoretical yield is lower but the actual cashflow is better, and hassles are non-existent.

  • Abjv

    I had a rental property at one stage. Although it was insulated, it was in a cold area, did not see a lot of sun and the water table was quite high so the lawn and paths often had surface water particularly when the soak holes had filled up. I provided electric oil heaters and a dehumidifier, and gave them a clothes dryer (vented to the outside). No charge for any of it. No reason they couldn’t be dry and warm and have a way to get clothes dry without hanging them inside. The tenant however refused to use all of these because it consumed electricity and electricity was something they had to pay for. Their kids got sick one winter and I pointed out to them this wouldn’t have been as likely if they’d used the stuff I gave them. “Yes” was the answer, “but we have to pay for the electricity. We don’t have to pay for the hospital”. I asked them if they were that short of money they couldn’t cover the power (this was in the days before Max Bradford). “No, but what we save on the power bill lets us take the kids to Macca’s …”

  • Whitey

    I guess Captain Y-Fronts has never owned a rental. The profit margins on residential rental properties are usually very small, especially outside the main centers. Most landlords will have no choice but to pass on the cost of heat source installation to their tenants. Or they could sell the rental, of course.

    • InnerCityDweller

      forcing people to sell the rental will be all part of the master plan

  • Positan

    If “democracy” means that people as uninformed, off-the-rails, and downright gormless as Andrew Little get paid from the public purse to maintain their pathetic efforts, then I for one would almost welcome an Opposition-less, one-party system.

  • cows4me

    All these renters crying home heating at no cost should be shouted a free flight to Venezuela, this includes the head drop kick Little. They’ll love the place, the country practices their preferred ideology and is nice and warm so no need for home heating.


      ….but then they would be needed an airco unit, no doubt……

  • Andy111A

    My latest rental I have just had insulated. When I asked they not use their LPG heater, they asked if I could then install a heat pump. When I mentioned the rent would have to go up $20 a week to cover this that was the end of the conversation. I budgeted for the insulation in my purchase costs but there is no way to simply drop in a heat pump at no cost.

    • Dave

      I spent quite a few years in the Home Comfort industry, and highly recommend you make it a condition of the rental that NO unflued appliances such as LPG space heaters are used, they simply add a lot of water vapor and carbon monoxide to the living areas. The instructions with the LPG heater will state, not to be used in enclosed spaces, must have adequate ventilation, a window, preferable two open.

      I recall going to a pensioners place many years ago, she had complained her newish LPG heater cut out after about 30 minutes in her new unit. The sales people, and technicians were having a laugh – I went straight out, she had moved into a new unit with alloy joinery, and it was airtight. The issue, the heater was cutting out on the oxygen depletion sensor, without that, she would be dead.

      Also, nowadays, the LPG heater is about the most expensive heating option available! not cheap, better off with a small electric heater.

      • D-Rad

        We bought an LPG heater when our son was born as we needed a quick way to warm our house. It was effective, but we were burning through a bottle a fortnight. It was EXPENSIVE. However we always parked it under or near an open window. We rent, we have an electric oil heater in the hallway, which effectively heats the bedrooms and realistically isn’t that expensive to run, our house was built in the 70’s, but it is well insulated and you can close off areas of the house to keep it warm. I don’t think a heat pump is the magic answer to anything.
        We will only use the LPG one this year for when its REALLY cold. However we clear water before it turns to mould, and if we get mould we… surprise clean it up instantly! We wipe down windows because of condensation. Its not friggin rocket science. We live in a damp climate, it happens.
        The best heating we ever had was a house in Southern New South Wales that had a gas furnace that ran off the mains, I don’t know why more houses in New Zealand don’t have them. In that part of the world though, it would be unthinkable to buy/build or rent a house without a proper heat source. They just don’t get built.

  • Usaywot

    Isn’t it strange how there were no cold, damp, mouldy homes during Labour’s time in office? Of course they are all John Key’s fault. He, for reasons hard to fathom, made sure every low income house was miserable to live in and that all the children would go hungry and die of pneumonia. Pfft! Labour are morons. If little had a brain it would be lonely.

    • sheppy

      Not only that but John Key arranged for those same Hungry Children to not go hungry during the school holidays

  • JustanObserver

    Does Labour only rent Fraser House?
    It is coming into winter and we know they are broke ….
    Perhaps they haven’t enough money to pay for the heating?

  • rustyjohn58

    You watch in another 10 years time Labour will be calling for tax incentives for landlords due to a shortage of rentals.

  • KatB

    When I think of a few of the smaller towns in Taranaki that wouldn’t be high on the list of preferred places to live, I wouldn’t imagine Andrew’s statement about the landlords being able to bear the cost of installing heating because of the increasing value of their property, would ring very true. I can’t see the value of those properties in those small towns increasing much at all over time. I can see in these towns, landlords would walk away and I would imagine in these towns, they would have a lot of people dependent on the rental property market. Can’t see anybody winning from that.

  • dumbshit

    A heating source? Does he specify what kind of heating source? A coal range? A fireplace? a two bar electric heater? A heat pump?
    How about an Exercycle, two birds with one stone, combat the bulge at the same time!

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Dumb and dumber being illustrated almost on a daily basis by Captain YFront. Many houses have had their original or traditional heat source removed because of perceived pollution.
    Again this restriction again suffers from some very strange interpretations of which wood burners are OK and which are outlawed. The rental property we had while back in NZ had to have a rather efficient wood burner removed as the council had it on the blacklist. The guy who removed it was delighted as it is OK for other regions so could be recycled.
    A modest 2 bedroom house built solidly back in the 50s and still owned by the decedents of the original owner. Air volume was measured and the heat pump installed did a fantastic job of heating the living area as well as taking the chill off the entire house. Set at a comfortable 18 degrees cold winter nights were comfortable in shorts and T shirt.
    Elsewhere in the most air polluted and dampest part of the city they were trying to heat a house with a minimal heat pump they kept pushing to 26 degrees with only hot spots.
    The Captain’s bill has made it past the first reading after a previous failed attempt but it is like him and shows no improvement with age. As we have come to expect a half baked attempt only offered to satisfy the whingers loosely worded and based on a forlorn hope that landlords think like them when spending money. It will get binned.
    Unless like the sceptic in me sees the Captain look for a trade off to get support by offering to give the TPPA the big tick. Perhaps.

    • one for the road

      He has already said that Labour will not vote for the TPPA, but he could bcome a super idiot and twist that one if he was looking for some contra for his stupid bill.. There is nothing that that Angry will not say or do in his desperation to get accepted and bring down John Key

  • Blokeinauckland

    If the government mandated working heat pumps at the landlord’s cost they would run 24/7. It would be a classic case of “tragedy of the commons” – with no accountability for the costs the tenant would run it all day – hot in winter and cool in summer.

  • OneTrack

    How did you get a copy of their secret coalition agreement with the Greens which will be enacted when they get in, in 2017.

    Onward Comrades.

  • Big fella

    Little is a fool of the first order. My rentals are investments. I make a profit and I pay tax. If he thinks that I am going to provide heaters of some sort, gratis, he is a bigger fool than bears thinking. I will increase rents, end of story.

  • Little just can’t seem to understand concepts. He continues to blurt out what ever comes to mind with no thought of costs. Sounds like another typically uneducated outburst.