Wellington homeowners face the possibility of being forced to bring their homes up to an approved city council standard.
The proposed Housing Quality Standard will be voluntary at first, but deputy mayor Paul Eagle says Wellington City Council has not ruled out making it mandatory if support falls flat.
So Eagle is saying that if property owners don’t sign up to their scheme, they’ll try and make it compulsory. No possibility that if no one uses it, it is because it is a useless scheme!
“My crappy house in Island Bay is a 1950s job, and you wouldn’t build a house like that today,” he said. “We get battered by the coast every day.”
So is Eagle saying no house mader in the 1950s is suitable for renting today?
If people failed to take the standard on, or thwarted the process, the standard could be made mandatory, he said.
“If they’re not going to do it, only then we will need to take a harder line.”
However, only the Government has the power to make such standards compulsory.
So it is an empty threat.
A spokesman for mayor Justin Lester said a “huge amount of work” was going into designing the standard, and it was a long process.
The council would introduce the standard through its Long-Term Plan, to be signed off in June next year.
“[It] will incorporate both personal health and earthquake resilience, and be tailored to Wellington’s needs.
“The aim of this is to have a clear standard for all houses in Wellington to be warm, safe and dry, and also to tie in the earthquake strengthening and have it all in one simple standard.
“Currently, there’s a bunch of standards.”
It was too early to say whether meeting or failing the standard would be included on a home’s Lim report, he said.
“There will be a quality mark, and we envisage it being able to be advertised on Trade Me. For landlords, it’s a way to stand out in the market.”
No problem with it as a voluntary scheme. If prospective tenants see value in it, they’ll give priority to properties that meet the standard, and this will encourage more landlords to meet it.