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Rental house conditions sub-par: report

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017

Rented houses are more than twice as likely to be poorly maintained than owner-occupied homes, a survey has found.

Despite an improvement in the overall condition of housing since 2010, only 24 per cent of rental properties were considered to have well-maintained features - compared to 48 per cent of owner-occupied ones - in research group BRANZ' latest House Condition Survey.

The survey looked at more than 550 houses throughout New Zealand, and the condition of up to 49 features of each house were rated.

"The survey implied owner occupiers took better care of their properties particularly with areas easier to maintain such as interior linings and fittings, doors and windows," BRANZ building performance research team leader Mark Jones said.

"Internal features such as wall linings, joinery, and fittings were twice as likely to be in a poor or serious condition in rentals as owner occupied."

But NZ Property Investors' Federation said the numbers didn't add up, with Housing New Zealand properties over-represented in the figures.

"It appears that there was a higher proportion of lower-income tenants surveyed compared to owner occupiers," executive officer Andrew King said.

"This means it is likely that the rental properties surveyed are going to be more applicable to low-income occupiers than the group of owner occupied properties surveyed."

The federation promoted good maintenance of rental properties to its members, he said.

"This makes good business sense as tenants of well-maintained properties are likely to stay longer, meaning lower vacancy rates."

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