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How do our rentals rate?

30 Jan 2014

The first step in a nationwide project aimed at making rental housing safer to live in – especially for children, students and the elderly - has started with ‘warrant of fitness’ field tests in five cities this month.

Some 125 rental properties are to be given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The field tests will not result in the immediate issue of WOFs but are an important step towards standardising methodologies and checklists to ensure the credibility of the scheme. The field test was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington) with input from the five councils, ACC and other housing experts.

The assessment aims to identify whether the rental property meets basic standards for warmth (or ability to effectively heat), dryness, mould and dampness, injury risk, sanitation, basic state-of-repair and basic living needs.

New Zealand housing is of a lower quality than most OECD countries and several national surveys and research studies have shown that private rental housing is in poorer condition than either social housing, or houses that are owner occupied. Landlords will be presented with the findings as well as information on how to improve the quality of the homes.

If you’re keen to find out how your home performs using the NZ Green Building Council’s Homestar tool, go to