Rental property warrants of fitness aren’t necessary, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation says.
It was yesterday revealed that a trial of WOFs for rental properties – both private and council-owned – will start across the country in January. Councils said there were concerns that the housing stock was substandard and contributing to poor health.
But the NZPIF says it’s not something tenants are asking for.
The federation said of the 101,784 tenants who called the Tenancy Services advice line in the year to June, just 6.8% had concerns about the maintenance of their property.
“This is backed up by a BRANZ study conducted in 2010, where tenants were asked to rate the condition of their rental property. Eighty per cent of tenants in the study considered their property to be in good condition, with 18% saying their property was in moderate condition. Only 2% said that their rental property was in poor condition.”
The NZPIF said it supported the desire to improve living standards but a WOF system was not the best way to do it.
“A rental property WOF inspection is estimated to cost between $500 and $700, which will eventually be added to the rental price. This is before any costs to comply with the WOF requirements are considered.”
It said a better option was that proposed in Phil Twyford’s bill, which calls for minimum standards for rental properties. Landlords would attest that their properties met the standards every time they signed up new tenants.
“Although we will need to find out more about these standards, the NZPIF believes that, on the face of it, this is a preferable method of improving rental property standards rather than having a WOF.”
The average Auckland rent rose just 2.9% over the past year.