WOFs for Tauranga rentals

Rental housing in Tauranga will undergo a warrant of fitness check as part of a nationwide project to make housing safer, especially for children, students and the elderly.

WOF tests start on 25 Tauranga rental properties in January, as part of a national programme of field tests on125 rentals in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Photo: File.

Much of New Zealand's older housing is cold and damp and of lower build standards than in many other OECD countries, says Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby.

'Regardless of the reasons why the houses were built to these standards in the first places, it is well-known that poor housing conditions contribute to more severe asthma, rheumatic fever and other housing-related illnesses,” says Stuart.

'Tauranga City Council is therefore committed to participating in this rental housing WOF field test with the hopes of a tool being developed in the future that will improve housing standards for our community.”

The field tests will not result in the immediate issue of WOFs for the 125 houses but will be an important step towards standardising methodologies and checklists to ensure the credibility of the WOF scheme.

The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago in Wellington with feedback and input from the five councils, ACC and other housing experts.

"ACC is supporting the warrant of fitness trial as part of our focus on reducing injuries in and around the home,” says ACC Programme Manager for Home Safety, Megan Nagel

'Poor lighting and maintenance, slippery surfaces and steps and stairs contribute to many home injuries, so by helping to address factors such as these, a housing warrant of fitness will potentially support efforts to bring injury rates down."

The support of ACC and the five cities involved shows a strong joint commitment to improving local housing and health, says Homestar Director at the New Zealand Green Building Council Leigh Featherstone.

'We hope that by the end of this project there'll be a working tool to rate rental standards nationally. This will make sure rental housing isn't endangering the health of the families living in it. The long-term payoff will be better health, particularly of our kids and elderly.”

The agreement to pre-test the rental warrant of fitness is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by local councils working together to improve rental housing quality for families and communities, says Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, at the University of Otago, Wellington.

'Over a decade of robust research by the Housing and Health Research Programme has enabled us to develop a world-class rental housing WOF, which we are pre-testing before it's rolled out more widely.”

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Housing WOF's

Posted on 16-12-2013 16:00 | By AndysMum53

So first question - Who pays for this???? the tenant, cause the landlord sure ain't going to be wanting to pay for this extra compliance cost! If the costs of commercial BWOF's are applicable will make rentals beyond the means of the lower income earners. Secondly, start removing the Privet from around the place, this will reduce the severity of attacks of asthma and similar breathing conditions, which contribute to many asthmatics being hospitalised!

Nanny state

Posted on 16-12-2013 20:04 | By Johnney

I was brought up in a cold droughty home but my mother always kept it clean. You see these scaremongering tv reports of mould growing inside houses. Well why don't the tenants clean it off and open the window. They would rather just blame the Landlord. Some of these tenants are just too damned lazy.

Show me the money!!!

Posted on 17-12-2013 13:11 | By jed

as others say, who pays!Tenants ultimately pay as rents increase to cover the cost of 'wof' compliance. Then, those tenants cannot afford the rent so they get evicted and are now sleeping in tents and bushes. So, the wof is at fault for kicking people out of their homes.

Housing WOFs

Posted on 17-12-2013 14:48 | By minniemouse

It needs to b done in Te Puke as well.Its a problem here I have a disability and I gt funding for shower, ramp I cant gt that anymore but this hm is making my child and I sick

About time

Posted on 17-12-2013 15:03 | By sojourner

About time too, it's long overdue. Also kindly bring in a WOF check on landlords. I know of a few who should be fired from the position.


Posted on 17-12-2013 15:35 | By terminator

This will only effect those that can least afford it. Firstly in rent increases, secondly some of these older houses may get demolished to bld new ones that wont be within the budget of those living in the current ones. If you had to issue a wof for rental properties in London 50% would fail on electrical safety alone. Council is obviosuly in favour of anything they can generate inspection fees from.

house or no house

Posted on 24-12-2013 13:30 | By The Tomahawk Kid

This is simply another case of council involving themselves in things they have no right interfering in. People have a choice of accepting a rental property or not - nobody is forcing them. If it is cold, wet or damp they should look elsewhere. If council do not give a house a WOF it will be one less property on the market for somebody who may chose to rent it. Less houses on the market will simply drive prices up to a level many cannot afford. What is better - a draughty, damp house, or No House at all? This is not a council matter, and only encourages bigger bureaucracy, and more do-gooders trying to justify a job for themselves.

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