Rentals across NZ fail warrant of fitness

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 10:50 15/05/2014

Relevant offers

More than 90 per cent of rental properties in a nationwide survey have failed a ''warrant of fitness'' (WOF) check.

About 140 rentals across Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin were given the once-over by home assessment experts earlier this year.

The rental housing WOF trial involved councils, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago.

It aimed to test whether draft WOF checklists and methodologies were practical for landlords, assessors and tenants.

About 94 per cent of the 144 houses inspected did not pass at least one of the 31 checklist items, but the majority failed on only a handful.

The trial found 36 per cent would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with "just a few minor and inexpensive fixes", such as installing smoke alarms or adjusting hot-water temperatures.

The WOF looked at weather tightness, insulation, ventilation, lighting, heating, the condition of appliances and general building safety.

In the trial, 40 per cent of houses did not pass the water temperature check, 30 per cent did not have a working smoke alarm within three metres of bedrooms and 31 per cent lacked code-compliant handrails and balustrades.

The trial also found 37 per cent did not have a fixed form of heating and 38 per cent did not pass a security-stays check.

Christchurch City Council housing committee chair Glenn Livingstone said the trial made it clear that a rental housing WOF system would be useful to renters.

"It would give prospective tenants the ability to make quick decisions about whether they want to look more closely at a property," he said.

"They would be able to easily see whether a house is safe, healthy and energy-efficient."

Dr Julie Bennett of the University of Otago said the trial was well-received by landlords, tenants and the assessors.

"We are now going back to look at the checklist and criteria to make sure we have a robust and usable housing WOF for the rental market," she said.

To view the full rental housing WOF trial report, click here.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which is the best bar in Christchurch?

Volstead

Dragon's Den

Fiddlesticks

The Dirty Land

Pomeroys

The Monday Room

Vote Result

Related story: Raise a glass to Volstead

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Contact Us Press

• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email reporters@press.co.nz
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email goclassifieds@press.co.nz
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email ad.sales@press.co.nz
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email: news.sales@press.co.nz
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make press.co.nz your homepage

Press supplements

At Home, I Do, Avenues, Winter Style

Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings

Celebrations

Celebrations

Births, weddings, engagements

Death notices

Death notices

Death notices and in memoriam