If 90% fail, it’s a silly test

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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