Rental Warrant of Fitness – “A Well Intentioned Flop”!

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Landlords are describing Wellington Councils Rental Warrant of Fitness programme as a “Well intentioned Flop”!

The fact that only 2 properties have achieved a pass mark since the introduction of the system is due to the current system being a Pass/Fail. During the pilot test 94% of properties failed so one has to wonder why they proceeded with the programme. What it did do, was actually provide a level of false information on how “dire” the situation was.

Fail reason number 2, 3 and 4 – voluntary programme, available for $250, valid for 3 years. What landlord is going to pay $250 for a 94% chance of a FAIL. And what happens if a new tenant comes in within that 3 year period, and damage has been done to the property within that period?

Andrew King of the Property Investors Federation talks about the programme being a mis-guided initiative. Why is this? Quite simply, Phillipa Howden-Chapman and the University of Otago, got bogged down in the research. Did they engage the stakeholders when developing their measuring tool? The Landlords, the tenants, advocacy groups, government agencies?

Yes the government has acted with the introduction of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act with the Wellington Mayor and Government claiming that has filled a gap. Reality is they have created an even more confusing myriad of legislation that is near impossible for a lay person to navigate their way through. Not only do Landlords need deep pockets to comply, but also a Law degree to negotiate their way through the legislation.

Marama Davidson is spot on. Without some form of enforcement we are not going to see an improvement in rental properties. We have seen the evidence that tenants are too frightened to come forward and report a non-compliant property for fear of being forced onto the streets with the hugely competitive market.

What is needed is an affordable, accessible solution for both tenants and landlords to be able to measure their home against the compliance issues. The i-Compliant Compliance Pre-Check, not only offers a liveability rating on completion of the report, but it also provides issues that need addressed and by a particular date. I-Compliant have worked with a number of stakeholders over the past 2 years including:

  • MBIE
  • Housing Minister
  • Property Managers Across NZ
  • Tenancy Services
  • Councils across New Zealand
  • Tenancy Advocate groups such as Renters United, Manawatu Tenants Union and Anglican Advocacy Canterbury

We have developed a tool that is both affordable and accessible now, and can help landlords ensure they are meeting all legislation requirements and prioritise the improvements that need to be made on their properties.

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