Practical Implementation of a Livability/Habitability Rental Home Standard – Graham Roper

Boarding or Shared Housing

“This can only be achieved when all parties involved feel slightly aggrieved by the outcome” – Graham Roper, General Manager Rental Warrant of Fitness

✔Rental Warrant of Fitness certainly fits as a truism to this statement. New Zealand will never implement and have a process of governance until all parties feel slightly aggrieved by the final process/outcome.

The examples related to a Rental WOF are numerous and varied depending on which party/stakeholder/sector you relate to. To explore this requires an independent view.

Operationalising the Rental Warrant of Fitness produced by Otago University and trialled by the Wellington City Council has proved ineffective and problematic:

– The pass/fail aspect alone creates enormous anxiety to many parties. Politically, imagine the difficultly in explaining that 90% of homes failed!

Failed What Exactly?

A good question which has been explored and has been well reported.

  • What will be the costs to meet the pass criteria?
  • Does a failure mean the home is unliveable/inhabitable
  • Why does it measure areas other than livability/habitability?

To provide a Practical implementation of a livability/habitability Rental Home standard requires the understanding and a general acceptance of an operationalised product.

                                                                                         ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness

The past ten (10) years has yielded a wealth of research and information. The information from similar countries and of course the detailed trails by the Otago University has provided ALL of the information to implement a livability/habitability Rental Home standard.

“Over the past year ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness has utilised ALL available data, consulted with stakeholders to produce a product and process that meets the needs”.

The product has been tested, detailed and well distributed to the Ministry of Housing, various Councils throughout New Zealand, Members of Parliament, investor Groups and advocacy groups.

The key elements of ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness that enable operationalising are:

Immediate implementation

  • Assessors are located throughout New Zealand
  • Focus on livability/habitability
  • The only available Rental WOF software available in NZ
  • A software that is flexible and can be built upon depending on regional requirements

Completely independent of ‘conflicts of interest

  • ALL owners of houses have a conflict of interest. This includes Government and NGO provided homes
  • Rental Property management companies have a clear conflict of interest to be unsuitable to deliver a Rental WoF
  • Third party audits are carried out to ensure the standard is maintained
  • Audit Reports avaiable on request

Is fiscally responsible – ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness provides a process that enables

  • ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness has a  cost that represents 0.01% of average rental income.
  • A targeted spend, if required, to improve livability/habitability standards
  • ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness is a self-funded product, therefore has no sector-required alliances to repay.

Further benefits of  ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness  are:

  • National measure of housing stock and a searchable database
  • Reduces conflict and disputes as each party has access and understanding of the reports
  • ✔Rental Warrant of Fitness hs a gradable system from A-F meaning allhouses recieve a standard, no measurements achieve a “fail” with the exception of firealarm installation

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