• Rental WOF launched in Wellington

    The Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

    Landlords (or tenants with their landlord’s permission) can book a Rental Warrant of Fitness inspection on Wellington City Council’s website from August 28.

    The Wellington City Council is partnering with qualified building inspectors who will come to the house and carry out an assessment which will take around an hour to complete.

    The houses will receive a pass or fail on the spot.

    A report will be emailed to the landlord or shortly thereafter.

    If the house fails the assessment, the landlord has 6 months to meet the criteria and re-book a follow up assessment for free.

    The Rental Warrant of Fitness is valid for three years.

    “We want to lift rental standards in our city and make better accommodation available for people. Every Wellingtonian deserves a warm, dry home,” says the Mayor.

    “We’re partnering with the University and will be launching an app that will allow tenants and landlords to check their house against minimum health standards designed by experts, and allow landlords to request a full inspection by a professional to be certified as meeting the standard.

    “This will give landlords the chance to promote their house as being warm and dry, and give prospective renters an assurance the home they are looking to live in meets the standard.

    “All available analysis strongly indicates that improved quality of housing leads to improving health, social and financial outcomes.”

    The Greens’ Bill for a national rental WOF failed to pass its First Reading in parliament last year.

    The Green Party today slammed National’s lack of leadership on rental quality in the wake of the Wellington City Council’s launch of a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness.

    “It’s encouraging to see local government step up when there’s been such a lack of leadership at a central government level,” said Green Party building and construction spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

    “More people die every year due to cold, damp homes than in traffic crashes. A Warrant of Fitness for cars is rightfully required for cars, why not houses?

    “Good on WCC for doing the right thing, but we need central government leadership on a mandatory rental Warrant of Fitness.”