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Record your rental: practical initiative helps protect tenants and their families

We all remember not having quite enough evidence to show mum and dad that the scribble on the wall wasn’t our fault.

Well, now Christchurch tenants have a free, confidential service to show their landlords and the Tenancy Tribunal what damage they did or didn’t cause to their rental properties. 

Record Your Rental kicked off in Christchurch on Monday 3 November. Tenants can store photos of their rental home at recordyourrental.org.nz for free, or ask for a free, trained visitor to take high quality photos and store them. Tenants can also call 03 341 4124 to get hold of a free, trained visitor.

Record Your Rental is being run by the Anglican Social Justice Unit in Christchurch. They got involved with rental housing by writing the Paper Walls report in 2013, which revealed a bunch of stuff, but in particular: that although tenants have a range of rights to bond and repairs that they can enforce in the Tenancy Tribunal, they can’t enforce a bunch of those rights without photos from the start of their tenancy.  

Anglican Social Justice took this theory to the Tenant’s Protection Association – another great Christchurch NGO – who confirmed that it’s an all-too-common story for tenants to miss out on bond return or repairs to their property because they don’t have photos from the start of their tenancy. 

Of course, we all know the tragic links between the condition of our houses and our children’s health. In one study, of 900 kids admitted to Auckland hospital for acute respiratory diseases, 533 lived in cold homes and 378 lived in damp, musty homes. When we do anything to improve the quality of our rental housing stock, we help improve our kids’ health. 

So, if you’re a Christchurch NGO then you can help by promoting Record Your Rental in your networks and communities. We want every Christchurch tenant to hear about Record Your Rental in the next two years. Our facebook page is here, you can download and print our posters here, or email me directly here

Our guest blogger Lyndon Rogers is a social justice advocate for Anglican Life in Christchurch, and the founder and administrator of Record Your Rental.