Candidate Steph Edlin answers Renters United’s questions

September 14, 2022 2:54 pm


Steph Edlin

Motukairangi/Eastern Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Motukairangi/Eastern Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Steph Edlin’s responses in full.

Rapid fire questions

Are you a renter? No
Do you own any properties? No
Do you support the Renters United Healthy Homes Commitment? Yes
Do you commit to funding tenant advocacy? Yes
Do you support councils retaining ownership an expanding supply of council housing? Yes
Will you lobby for IRRS to be extended to councils? Yes
Do you commit to densifying inner city suburbs? No
Will you commit to using your platform to abolish the ratepayers roll? Yes

Stable homes

What actions would you take to improve stability and security for private renters?
Take action to prevent tenants from being blacklisted after making complaints to the Tenancy Tribunal.
Make it so that landlords must provide a valid reason when evicting tenants, and make it so that in most circumstances, tenants may only be evicted for serious matters such as failing to pay rent, serious or purposeful property damage and conducting illegal behaviour inside the property. Any reason outside of those circumstances should have to be reviewed prior to the eviction notice being given.

How will you ensure all council tenants have security of tenure?
Same as above in the case of WCC being the landlord

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Wellington?
Work to improve accessibility to council housing

Meaningful enforcement

If elected, would you take steps to tackle persistent bad landlords who do not meet their obligations to renters in your area? If so, what?

Fine them, and ban them from raising rent for a certain period of time based on the seriousness of their misdemeanour

What do you think Council should do to address power imbalance between landlords and tenants? If nothing, why?
In the case of private rentals, I feel this is mainly a problem with the tenancy tribunal and the fear of renters of being ‘blacklisted’ for causing any fuss. However, I feel that council could address the blatant power in-balance between renters and landlords by funding its local advocacy services for renters. If a tenant is having an issue with their property that either violates the Healthy Homes act or poses a significant hazard or inconvenience to them and they contact their landlord and the landlord does nothing, WCC could provide a service where the tenant could report it to them and they could follow up with the landlord about it. Unlike the tribunal, it wouldn’t be as much of a legal process.

Fair rent

Would you advocate for additional powers or resources from Central Government to address the housing crisis (such as legislating for Rent Control), if so what and how?
Yes, I think rent control is a good idea right now.

What do you think are the main reasons rents in Wellington are increasing? How would you ensure rents in Wellington are affordable?
Not enough housing for everyone, with landlords taking advantage of the situation and raising rents and keeping properties on the market until they can find tenants willing to pay outrageous prices for them. I think council should be investigating properties that have been on the rental market for more than 1 month, and landlords should be urged by council to lower the rent of properties that have been on the market for more than 1 month.

Safe and healthy homes

What actions (in contrast to or in conjunction with our Healthy Homes Commitment) would you take to improve the quality of private rental housing in your ward and in your city?
Allow tenants to be able to report landlords who refuse or are slow to update properties to comply with the healthy homes act. Implement renter’s united the healthy homes commitment.

Anything else you want to share?

Just want to say -I ticked “Not renting” as I opted to move back in with my parents so that I could actually afford to run for council as I was blowing nearly all my income on rent. I was renting up until this year -so I know what it’s like! Thanks for your mahi!

Steph Edlin

Motukairangi/Eastern Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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