Response To The Article Rental WOF’s Struggle To Gain Traction

Response To The Article Rental WOF's Struggle To Gain Traction

Response To The Article Rental WOF’s Struggle To Gain Traction


Wellington City Council’s Rental Warrant of Fitness system seems to be struggling to gain traction, as highlighted in a recent stuff article. We would like to express our response to the article and address why we think their system is struggling.

The recent Stuff article, published 16th October, addressing Wellington City Council’s struggle with their Rental Warrant of Fitness has yet again highlighted the need for a program based on a scaled rating system rather than a pass or ­fail system.

The Council’s pass or fail system doesn’t actually measure how livable a property is. Under the current system, properties are evaluated on an inadequate system, where homes that are less than 12 months old can FAIL. How? Based on the pass/fail system a house can FAIL on one broken window latch.

The Wellington system is unfair, unjust and if continued all rental stock will be unlivable.

From research already conducted, there is a need to measure livability on a graded rating system, rather than a pass or fail system. Both tenants and landlords are welcoming the idea of a robust scaled rating system to manage the livability of rental stock in New Zealand.

The current system the Wellington City Council uses ignores important elements:

  1. Livability rating system, graded from A to F reflecting an excellent to a poor quality of livability.
  2. Rental WOF should be an Assessment, not an Inspection.
  3. The need for independent third-party Assessor, ensuring no conflict of interest or biases.
  4. Assessors must be separate from Council Officers. 
  5. Both tenants and landlords must be allowed the freedom to select what type of property they want to rent and own, whether it be an A or F rated property.

There is only one National Rental Warrant of Fitness system with all these elements and it has been operating throughout New Zealand since May 2017.

The message to Wellington City Council is to let the market manage its own shortcomings.

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