June 2014

Rental house WOF

 

I had a phone call from a journalist the other week for some comments about the housing WOF trail that was being run in Tauranga at the time. I stated that I did not agree with a compulsory WOF but agreed with the principle of warmer, dryer homes for all occupants.

This is best done through education & public awareness, not through bureaucracy & added costs that will eventually be passed onto the tenant. That’s how change happens, not by imposing regulations & fines. People need to understand, & once they do, they correct their errors naturally & of their own accord.

All my own rental properties have had insulation improved over the last 5 years. Some I used the EECA government insulation grants available (66% with a tenant community service card) to get ceiling and floor insulation to current building standards and others I did myself. They all have permanent heating with fires or Heat pumps. I always advertise these points and get positive tenant feedback.

Would I have spent this money on creating warmer, dryer homes without the government grants or Campaign? Most probably not to the same standard or as quickly.

The Warm up NZ healthy homes programme has increased the expectations of tenants and thus educated us, the owners of what a drier healthier home should be.

As a property manager, I always ask new clients what insulation their house has. If they don’t know, I look in the ceiling and under the house and give them an idea of the new expectations of what a drier warmer home will be like.

MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill was drawn from the ballet late last year. It calls for non-polluting heating and insulation in all rental properties.

Landlords would be required to make a declaration, or guarantee as part of any new tenancy agreement that their property complied with the standards.  Then the Tenancy Tribunal would be given powers to enforce the standard. Labour has said the requirements would apply to new tenancies from the moment it became law.

Will your properties be up to standard if this bill passes or any similar ones in the near future?