If 90% fail, it’s a silly test

May 16th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

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.

This should ring major warning bells that the proposed WOF checklist would push up costs and eventually rents for pretty much every tenant and landlord in New Zealand.

There might be some merit in some sort of WOF test which highlights the very worst properties as being sub-standard. But a test which sees 94% of properties fail is just some sort of unworldly wishlist. It’s fine as a voluntary branding test (you advertise you have passed it) but any notion of Councils making it compulsory should and must be rejected if it means 94% of properties are failing it.

Having the Government say that only 6% of NZ rental properties are good enough to allow people to live in them, would push housing prices and rentals up massively.

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46 Responses to “If 90% fail, it’s a silly test”

  1. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Sorry guys, I simply HAVE TO spend $25,000 on increasing the capital value of the flat, and charge you guys more rent accordingly.

    It’s the rules now.

    The Green party brought this in because they care about you.

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  2. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    This really highlights the poor quality of our rental stock.

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  3. Kimbo (934 comments) says:

    The rental housing WOF trial involved…the New Zealand Green Building Council…

    ’nuff said.

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  4. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    I wonder if my year old, 900k rental would pass?

    I’d probably get nailed for not having a good enough fence or something stupid.

    Why do the greens hate the poor?

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  5. nasska (11,517 comments) says:

    Gump

    ….”This really highlights the poor quality of our rental stock.”…..

    The poor quality of the tenants probably has much to do with that.

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  6. prosper (167 comments) says:

    WOF for buildings. Unbelievably stupid. Are they trying to put market rents through the roof. One fascist/communist wof inspector could single handedly double rents. Hang on maybe it’s a cunning socialist plan. The so called poor will then not be able to afford market rents so the government will have to double the number of state houses and subsidise the tenants. Back in the USSR.

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  7. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Sounds more like a case for tweaking, not abandoning the concept.

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  8. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    I agree with the logic that a test that fails 94% is prima facie evidence of unrealistically harsh standards, because it’s hard to credit that rental properties are on the whole so abysmal in New Zealand.

    Though I notice the article reports the WOF was applied to only 140 properties and did not say how they were selected. If selected because of concerns they might fail such a test then we should expect a high number of failures.

    And also, if one reads Stuffs article…

    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.

    So on inspection of the details (as DPF promised us he likes to do rather than rush to judgement) the idea that if compulsory it would force outrageous high costs on all landlords is disproved.

    With such minor changes only 60% remain to have failed, and in a market where no such tests exist I don’t find the idea of introducing such a warrant initially failing ~60% on more substantial reasons very surprising.

    There are 31 items on the warrants checklist, we can look for ourselves if we think they are appropriate;

    Assessment Criteria

    1. Is there a functional, safe stove-top and oven?
    2. Is there adequate space for food preparation and storage?
    3. Is there an adequate supply of hot and cold potable water?
    4. Is the hot-water at the tap 55?C (±5?C?)
    5. Is there a functional toilet, which does not have a cracked or broken seat, cistern or bowl?
    6. Is there a suitably located bath or shower in good working order?
    7. Are there secure or high level cupboards or shelves for storing hazardous or toxic substances out of children’s reach?
    8. Is there a fixed form of safe and effective space heating?
    9. Do the bathroom, kitchen and all bedrooms have some form of ventilation to outside?
    10. Is the house reasonably free of visible mould, i.e. the total area of mould is less than an A4 sheet of paper?
    11. Are the power outlets and light switches safe and in good working order? (Yes/no)
    12. Is there adequate indoor lighting?
    13. Does the house have adequate working smoke alarms?
    14. Have the windows got effective latches?
    15. Have high windows got security stays?
    16. Are there curtains or blinds in the bedrooms and living area?
    17. Do glass doors have safety visibility strips?
    18. Does the house have thermoplastic insulated cabling?
    19. Does the house have ceiling insulation to WOF standards?
    20. Does the house have underfloor insulation to WOF standards?
    21. Is the house weather tight with no evident leaks, or moisture stains on the walls or ceiling?
    22. Is a ground vapour barrier installed under the ground floor?
    23. Is the house in a reasonable state of repair?
    24. Is the storm and waste water drainage being adequately discharged?
    25. Is there any water ponding under the house?
    26. Is there adequate outdoor lighting near entrance ways?
    27. Does the house appear to be structurally sound?
    28. Are there handrails for all internal stairs and all outdoor steps that access the house, and do balconies/decks have balustrades to the current Building Code?
    29. Is there fire egress to the current Building Code?
    30. Is the address clearly labelled and identifiable?
    31. Are there securely locking doors?

    Personally I think items like “Is the house in a reasonable state of repair?” are a bit vague, and the point of specific check lists is to reach that conclusion. Having it as an item itself introduces opinion that WOF’s are supposed to dispense with.

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  9. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    Absolute bureaucratic crap.

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  10. Forrest (15 comments) says:

    The survey results make great headlines but are entirely meaningless without context.
    How do the results compare to the pass / failure rates of the entire housing stock in NZ.
    I would not be surprised if 94% of the entire housing stock in NZ failed the check.

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  11. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    I am with you Feltex –most on the list are reasonable but several are very vague such 12,19,20,23,27. I assume 19&20 have more detail in the doc. and maybe the others do as well.
    But as Forrest has said “The survey results make great headlines but are entirely meaningless without context.” so those supporting the concept are really shooting themselves in the foot, putting out stuff like this

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  12. srylands (410 comments) says:

    Having lived in a number of rental properties in New Zealand here are the criteria that many will fail on.

    Is there a suitably located bath or shower in good working order?

    > Depends what you mean by working order. When I arrived in New Zealand, I found the quality of hot water systems generally awful. Showers in most rentals were pathetic.

    Is there a fixed form of safe and effective space heating?

    > Rarely. It is BYO.

    Is the house reasonably free of visible mould, i.e. the total area of mould is less than an A4 sheet of paper?

    > Only if it has just been removed.

    Have high windows got security stays?

    > Nope

    Do glass doors have safety visibility strips?

    > Nope

    Does the house have thermoplastic insulated cabling?

    > Probably not.

    Does the house have ceiling insulation to WOF standards?

    > Usually not.

    Does the house have underfloor insulation to WOF standards?

    > Almost never.

    Is there adequate outdoor lighting near entrance ways?

    > Often not.

    But what is the Government’s role in fixing these things? Compared to other countries the average New Zealand house – especially rentals – is a a shit box. Even many of those who can afford otherwise put up with poor heating and cold houses and shitty low pressure showers. Sometimes that is because they are poor. But I have visited many New Zealand houses owned by folk who can afford a $4,000 TV, and a boat in the garage, but who heat their house with a shitty fan heater, and no insulation.

    If people want better houses they will have them when we have higher prosperity and a cultural shift (or not). You can’t just dial up better houses. Some people don’t want them, caus they want a boat or a new TV or more KFC.

    So sure set some basic standards, but light handed. Preferably self regulated branding. Then lets focus on policies that make New Zealanders richer. Then we can all decide for ourselves whether we want warmer houses.

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  13. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    My house would fail item 7.

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  14. jp_1983 (213 comments) says:

    The labour and green path to full employment “an army of clipboard inspectors and paid snitches” just like in the GDR (East Germany)

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  15. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    This was a trial to see how it could work. It has been acknowledged that they need to change the checklist criteria. I don’t know what it’s getting so much news coverage as if had condemned rental houses, some of the media are making much more of it than is warranted.

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  16. sassycassy (45 comments) says:

    Silly indeed. 94% fail rate clearly shows the criteria to pass was set too high- and some of these trivial issues – such as hot water temperature settings- are surely things a tenant can and should do for themselves without it marked as a LL failing to meet the WOF standard.

    The failing rate looks very negative and yet

    “The general state of repair of the sample of house was excellent with almost all houses considered to be weather-tight (99%) and structurally sound (99%). In addition almost all houses (98%) had no
    cracks or holes in their roofs, 95% had no cracks or holes in the external cladding, 99% had no cracks, holes or missing windows and 93% had spouting and storm-water functioning and not leaking.
    Ninety-four (94%) of house had two effective methods of egress and 93% of houses had visibility strips on glass doors and 99% of houses had paths, decks and surfaces that were not slippery and
    were free from moss.

    I think the “home assessment experts” have to seriously review how and what they assess and report

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  17. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    A solution looking for a problem.

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  18. simpleton1 (228 comments) says:

    The road we are going down.
    Failure of WOF and then a fine issued to the land lord as fines are issued to car drivers.

    Next step to be pink sticker-ed until repaired. Interesting as who would be responsible to move the tenants out? until the house is “drive-able”

    Of course what they will do is have the tenant direct the rent to a “tenancy trust fund”, and then deduct the cost of putting it right from that.
    Just as tenants bonds are entrusted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), along with the Bond lodgement form, within 23 working days of receiving it.

    You are joking if you think you will be able to increase rent accordingly. Unless you can find tricky ways as I know that can be done to move the tenant on and then reset the rent .

    It is just a hidden way to stop investment into rental properties, and to increase employment and up the level of wages beyond MacDonalds for authorized inspectors and their managers and bloated “skilled” bureaucracy.

    The only way rents go up is by demand and supply, so less supply then rent will go up as with increased demand.
    The joker in the pack is government imposed regulations.

    No accountability for tenants either in this bureaucratic mission .

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  19. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why 8 or 20 are mandatory pass/fail items. Some houses have built-in fireplaces, or heat pumps, or central heating. Many houses do not, that is just life in NZ. There are plenty of electric and gas heaters you can just plug & play.

    Ditto with insulation to a WoF standard… what is the WoF standard? Isn’t the NZ building code enough?

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  20. J Bloggs (241 comments) says:

    RRM: I’d add 16 to the list as well – Why is it the Landlords responsibility to supply curtains

    reading the report – they state that if window security stays ,hot water temperatures and working smoke alarms (all easy fixes) had been to standard the pass rate would have been 36%

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  21. CJPhoto (221 comments) says:

    Who do these people think they are demanding a working toilet!!!

    Looking at the list, it is surprising the high level of failure but maybe most relate to smoke alarms where tenants have not replaced the batteries?

    Also why does heating need to be fixed?

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  22. jawnbc (85 comments) says:

    Probably not as silly as you think David.

    When I moved here from Canada less than 2 years ago I was shocked at the standards for rental properties in Auckland—and I was looking in the more expensive parts of the city. Unless you’re willing to shell out $1,000 a week for a 2-3BR apartment, you have to compromise on the sorts of things that shouldn’t even be on the table:

    1. No or poor insulation (for heat and sound)
    2. Dampness, mould and leaks
    3. Cheap and nasty appliances that jack up your electricity bill
    4. No heating source provided at all, necessitating using expensive and inefficient stand-alone heaters

    The apartment I finally rented after 3 weeks of looking was prone to black mould in the bathrooms and main bedroom. The dryer vented into the bathroom, which vented into the bedroom. No wonder mould was a problem. And it turned out to be a classic leaky building—and the “investor” owner did nothing about the leak until we gave our notice to move out.

    We’re lucky: we could afford to buy something. Something which, by the way, also lacks insulation. But for a lot of people—especially young people new to working life, the only option is renting. And what’s on offer in the NZ’s “major” city is crap.

    No wonder so many kiwi kids get asthma—lots of them live in sub-standard housing. How about National do something about THAT? A few million invested in this now will save much more in health costs. Besides being the honourable thing to do.

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  23. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    WOF means less housing available. The building code if obeyed is sufficient. The Clinic [medical practice] Armagh Street, Christchurch was moved from a slightly damaged single storey to the multi-story CTV building with fatal consequences as a result of stupid local authority decision making. Keep the rules and system simple.

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  24. Vader (10 comments) says:

    Why not just replace pass/fail with grades. If restaurants were graded pass/fail there would be plenty of fails I’d still eat at.

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  25. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    25. Is there any water ponding under the house?

    That might be a difficult one in some circumstances. Groundwater springs can cause this issue and they can be hideously expensive to remedy, if it’s even possible. I have a few in my backyard.

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  26. Hamish_NZ (46 comments) says:

    Having lived in a number of shity places over the years as a student, and a number of less shity places both as a student and as a normal human being. I can say that most of the items on the list are okay. Some such as number 7 are a bit pointless, and others are vague, such as the good order one, which is subjective depending on the market it’s aimed at anyway.

    Personally I think dpf has gone a bit whaleoil on this post (not sure who will be more offended) instead of being his usual sensible self. Yeah sure the headline figure looks bad, but most fixes are minor, and the checklist could do with some modifications. But overall it’s a goid thing to improve the housing stock.
    Sure it shouldn’t be compulsory, but think of the marketing value for landlords, and the subsequent ability to be more selective with tenants. After all good tenants will look out for it, crap ones won’t care.
    As a student in Dunedin I lived in a flat with painted newspaper for wall covering. Another where the kitchen was smaller than a prison cell and everything leaned to one corner. But you know what they were cheap, and I hardly ever spent anytime there apart from sleeping and dinner. Plus the uni library was close by and it was always warm, and so were the pubs. In latter uni yeara I was more picky and made sure heat pumps and sunlight were present, and they didn’t cost too much more either.
    But in all my time renting the most important thing in a rental is a good property manager/landlord. Not one that thinks hot water, non leaking roofs, and power are nice to haves. Had some brilliant landlords and property managers that when you ring up get things fixed right away, or let you know it can’t be. To me they are where all landlord’s/property managers should be aiming to be.
    Had a place last year in a nice suburb, brilliant back yard, fruit trees, vegie patch, lots of grass, private, with a nice older house on it. Signed a year lease on it, lovely property manager showed us around, nothing was a problem, place would be freshly gardened andbug sprayed before we moved in. Seemed lovely. It wasn’t we had 3 property managers within the year, all from the same agency. Rang up the emergency number one morning because the lock seized trapping us inside. No answer or reply to our messages. Called a locksmith ourselves to remove the lock. Had to wait 2 days for the property manager to get a locksmith around to replace the lock. Next the range stopped working, took them a week to decide what to do with it, eventually called a sparky out. In the winter we discover the living room ceiling is sagging one wet night. Call the property manager the next day, they don’t seem concerned at all. Takes them a month to get someone around to look at it, who can’t do it because it’s a tile roof, something that surely should be listed on the property details with the management company I would have thought. Then another month for someone else to come around, all the while the ceiling is sagging and cracking more. They can fix the leak by replacing the non existent flashings. But the owner is too broke to do it, apparently we’re mean tenants for asking them to fix it. Wtf. So threaten tennancy tribunal, suddenly it’ll be fixed next week. But you’ll have to put up with the damaged ceiling. Needless to say we didn’t renew our lease, and the property manager couldn’t understand why. We paid our rent on time every week without fail, and we did odd jobs around the place like laying new lawn when a tree was taken out etc. But whenever we had a problem, not little issue either. It was such a hassle.
    New landlord is brilliant, they come over and fix an issue straight away, or if they can’t, get someone in. They even make the place better without charging more rent by replacing windows with double glazing and generally looking after their investment.

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  27. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    As an exercise I applied that list to my own home (which I own and maintain myself) and failed (without being particularly strict) on 3 points.

    A 4th is debateable – should the three steps to my front door have a handrail (which they don’t)?

    Another 3 or 4 a harsh application might fail me on (my wood burner is technically out of date and due for replacement next year for example, I haven’t replaced the batteries in my smoke alarm, my ceiling insulation is a bit tired).

    Only one of the failures would be something I think would incur an unnecessary sizeable expense if I were to let my home – replacing all the wiring which is not “thermoplastic insulated” (my home is seventy years old and much of it’s wiring still original).

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  28. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    ”This really highlights the poor quality of our rental stock.”

    OUR rental stock?

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  29. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    so many of these are either market issues (ie between the landlord and the tenant to determine what will be done and commensurate rent), or wanky ideals foisted on us by beige people with clipboards who would never put their own funds at risk. the one about the stove, i am pretty sure is already required under law, as all houses have to have stoves, and they have to be in working order. if not and the landlord wont fix it, 14 day letter of compliance or face fines from the tenancy tribunal.

    they are also pretty vague and dont take into account differences in houses. for example if i am renting an apartment to inner city students and trendies, then do you think they give a fuck if the house has adequate space for food prep, or safe cupboards for kids?

    if i dont have kids, what do i give a shit about whether the cleaning products are safe from kids.

    i have no issues with some independent body doing a heat efficiency rating, that i can choose to get rated on, so as to show a point of difference between my place and others. if i have spent money on insulation etc and want to show that, then an independent objective and simply rating could show that. then people have the choice to rent my place for more, or a lower rated (or non rated) house for less.

    then either the market has landlords doing more for their house for better ratings or you get a nice price differential.

    i’ve just insulated my house as i am about to rent it out, not because of some wanky WOF system but because i want to attract better tenants prepared to pay for a warm dry house.

    if they want to pay less they can go to a non insulated place.

    also, we are about to rent a place ourselves. i chose the place because of the size, location, price, insulation etc. i dont need some bureaucrat telling me the house is not very good because the letter box is hard to see or they dont like the window latches. that’s between me and the landlord.

    there was a telling article in one of the local community rags a while back where a 20 year old worked it out. he said his flat was cold but they liked where it was and he did not support a WOF as it would drive up rents, making places unaffordable for low income people like him. if a 20 year can work this out, why cannot the beige people in charge of this?

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  30. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    Some people in Christchurch are living in shocking and unhealthy conditions now, any extra rules and regulations will make the problem a lot lot worse.

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  31. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    As to whether or not such a thing ought be compulsory – I think some version of it ought be. Perhaps not this version, but some minimal standard.

    I suspect there are in practice minimal standards a landlord is legally required to meet. I don’t think improving their codification would be a bad thing, if there’s some problem and confusion about it now.

    And setting those minimal standards at a level that helps avoid health problems we’ll all pay for later seems sensible to me.

    The idea that compulsion should play no part in any regulation because markets and social pressure will apply sufficient force is folly. We have the expectations and standards we do now exactly because we have benefited from improved regulation and compulsion against exploitation over the last few centuries.

    There’s room to debate on what and at what level we set standards, I personally think homes let for occupation is something that falls under the list of things properly required to meet certain standards.

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  32. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    the NZCPR has done a couple of good posts on this.

    http://www.nzcpr.com/state-control-of-rental-housing/

    http://www.nzcpr.com/beware-housing-wof-on-way/

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  33. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    The wof thing is utter bull****.

    Some poorer folk want to spend as little as possible on rent. So, making landlords upgrade properties will push people onto the streets. And, I bet a park bench has an even worse wof.

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  34. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Easy – kick out the tenants and upgrade as the most points necessary: get new tenants factoring the expenses in the rates.

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  35. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    The media have not scratched the surface of the rat infested hovels people are living in. The alternative is even worse, rat infested and unhealthier tents and sites.

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  36. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Gump

    This really highlights the poor quality of our rental stock.

    No it doesn’t. Look at the numbers reported.

    1) “40 per cent of houses did not pass the water temperature check”. So they failed if the hot water came out of the tap several degrees higher or lower than 55dec C.

    2) “30 per cent did not have a working smoke alarm within three metres of bedrooms”. Two things here. This only becomes mandatory when you do maintenance that requires a building consent. Secondly you can put all the smoke alarms in that you like, but if the tenant doesn’t replace the battery or advise you that its gone flat, then the test has failed. I ended up putting in a full burglar alarm with mains power smoke detectors. Tenants can have it monitored if they pay the monthly fee. None do.

    3) “37 per cent did not have a fixed form of heating”. I could put in a heat pump, and have done in one. But I have to constantly nag them to clean the filters. I could put in an electrical heater but then they won’t tell you if something goes wrong with it and it could become a fire hazard. Why would I increase the risk of my property? Should I supply duvet’s and electric blankets as well?

    It’s fair enough to highlight the houses that have no insulation, or broken windows, or holes in the wall…. This WOF is perilously close to dictating the type of shower rose and light bulb that must be used.

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  37. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    If some of the building code can be ignored so will be the WOF.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,873 comments) says:

    Here’s the issue to me, as an ex-landlord and an ex-tenant in the past, the return on rental investment (rent as a % of the value, excluding capital appreciation) is inadequate.

    We kept our property up as best we could, but as an 80 year old house certain things were very hard to manage. It was insulated top & bottom, and tolerably ventilated, but the extra insulation increased the mould growth. No fixed heating, this was Auckland mind you so not that much need for it most of the year, I must say that now I’d fit heat-pump(s) but they weren’t as cheap back then. Rewired, smoke alarm (but tenants never replaced batteries), good appliances, guttering a bit prone to leak despite fixes, we installed mains pressure water heating, tossing out the old low pressure system (and that’s the problem with piss-poor showers in NZ, mostly), the rest I think we’d pass although I do wish that some tenants wouldn’t use the curtains to wipe things on. And overall despite pushing the rent as far as we thought we reasonably could it was only the capital appreciation that saved it from being an expensive loss-maker.

    I think the concept has some merit, replace pass/fail with grades is a good thought, but depending on circumstances sometimes poor quality but cheap accommodation is OK; students for example. A place I lived in once was would fail probably 75% of the tests, but with 5 of us it cost $5 a week each in rent ! (OK, that was a while back)

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  39. sassycassy (45 comments) says:

    The councils involved in the test recruited landlords to volunteer to participate and the councils also selected a sample of their social housing portfolio for the test.

    These inaugural test properties would have been a sample of the better rental stock…and they still failed

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  40. prosper (167 comments) says:

    Has any one noticed that regulations in NZ have the biggest impact on the low income earners. That’s a negative impact of course.

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  41. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    I had the council refuse to pass a building final compliance because the hot water needed to be tested for temperature
    its gas and the temperature control is on the bathroom wall…
    We turned it down to 50 for exactly the time the council was there and turned it back to 60 as soon as they left.
    I like strong hot showers and you don’t get that if the temperature of the hot is to low. two hundred dollars worth of inspection for bureaucratic nonsense. The same council insisted on a landscape impact and design plan which I did myself they refused to accept my landscape plane and insisted on a qualified landscape architect drawn one. I have around ten years of landscaping design and maintenance also grow my own native plants for a hobby but no formal qualification. It cost me another two hundred to get a qualified architect to check my plan. He added the words compost around plants when planting and the council accepted the plan. Massive waste of resources no other property in the development has done any work on their landscape at all despite having landscape impact plans excepted and the original developer had not even finished or maintain the original requirements of the subdivision consent .. waste of time money and resources to satisfy box ticking Hitlers with no idea and too much power. A compulsory building WOF will just give the wankers even more opportunity to fuck people around and make public bow down to their pointless nonsense and box ticking bureaucracy..

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  42. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    New regulations are brought in and they are obeyed for a time and then familiarity kicks in between inspectors and builders and the regulations are treated with contempt. It happened with the resulting leaky buildings in Auckland. It is as cyclic as booms and slumps. Houses built in the 1950’s survived the Christchurch quakes, houses built in the 2000’s did not.

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  43. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Glad to be out of that market, the commercial arena is far better, even decent tenants that don’t default on rent, and look after their properties . . . a real difference!

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  44. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Er, I think someone came to the wrong conclusion.

    Most only failed only a handful of the criteria – this infers a low cost to fully comply, for most.

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  45. jcuk (687 comments) says:

    I think the test is an excellent step forward but the conclusions are completely and utterly wrong.
    I remember when as a younger and single person I was offered and took for awhile a building which had been the stable for a carrier’s horses ….there were no cooking facilties, I normally ate out and only needed a jug to make a cup of coffee with my cornflakes for breakfast….. washing was a sponge down standing at the kitchen sink …np fridge or cooking, there was a drafty outside ‘wee house’ and I organised my own bar heater.
    I don’t think it would have passed any of the tests but it was great for me at that stage of my life living on highly variable sales commissions.

    So the WOF is what every rental property should have, either as a landlord’s declaration with penalties for inaccuracy or by WOF inspectors at no charge to the landlord or prospective tenants… and it should be the prospective tenants choice as to if they accept the less than ideal conditions because that should then be reflected in the rental required.

    These days I live in my own house which I built which is double glazed and with heatpump and numerous heaters for personal warmth … heat pumps are an expensive luxury for a single person and I regret wasting my money on one ….. insulated to the regulations of twenty three years ago when it was built but it would fail a WOF test as outlined by Fentex 11.28 … but it is what I want and need for a happy healthy life.

    Upgrading NZ’s housing stock is the responsibility of the government as a long term economic measure saving on health costs etc in the future.

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  46. TM (99 comments) says:

    The checklist is ok, but it shouldn’t be compulsory to meet all the criteria. The results should be included with any advertising so prospective tenants can make an informed choice.

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