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Wellington first city to implement a voluntary rental WOF for houses

By Nikki Papatsoumas

The Wellington City Council has launched a voluntary ‘warrant of fitness’ scheme for rental properties in the capital.

Last month the Wellington City Council partnered with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch the scheme in an effort to set minimum housing standards for rental properties in Wellington.

Landlords can now book a rental warrant of fitness inspection on the Wellington City Council’s website. From here, qualified building inspectors will carry out an assessment of the property and landlord’s properties will receive a pass or fail on the spot.

The assessment, which is made up of a number of different criteria, costs the landlord $250 and lasts for three years.

Mayor of Wellington, Justin Lester, says the council wants to lift rental standards in the capital and make better accommodation available for people.

He says it is something landlords can choose to be involved in to show they are responsible landlords to potential tenants.

“Every Wellingtonian deserves a warm, dry home,” he says.

“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.”

Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle says improving the quality of the housing stock was a key goal for the council.

“This is just the start – through our Long Term Plan we will be introducing a Wellington Housing Quality Standard that will incorporate both personal health and earthquake resilience, and be tailored to Wellington’s needs,” Eagle says.

“Information from this voluntary scheme will help inform the permanent standard council introduces.”

 

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