Renters United is an advocacy group that organises renters and campaigns to make renting in New Zealand better for everyone. We see decent housing as a basic human right and our broken renting system as a barrier to realising this right for all.
In 2017, Renters United worked with ActionStation to collect hundreds of renters’ stories and analysed these in the report The People’s Review of Renting (pdf, 5.6mb). We found four key themes among the stories:
- Quality of housing affects quality of life
- Limited options make people feel desperate
- People are struggling to create a stable home, and
- People feel powerless to challenge landlords.
These stories spoke of a power imbalance in the relationship between landlords and renters. The result of these interrelated problems is that renters are second- class citizens. Renters cannot reliably realise their rights to healthy and stable housing, as can property owners.
In 2018, Renters United has sought to offer solutions to these systemic problems. Following further consultation with members and tenant advocacy experts, in July 2018 we launched the Plan to Fix Renting. The Plan sets out 36 changes to the law and its application that will make the private rental sector healthy, safe, affordable, stable and — most importantly — fair.