Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mike Butler: State houses checked for WOF



A scheme to impose warrants of fitness on residential rentals is well under way with Housing New Zealand going through state-owned rentals to make sure they are up to scratch. Former Housing Minister Phil Heatley confirmed last August that he would go along with child poverty lobbyists’ demands for such a scheme, while the new Housing Minister, Nick Smith, who is known for his ready adoption of trendy causes, presides over the current scheme.

Contractors have been hired to carry out basic checks of state houses. They are required to check external condition, guttering, roofing, whether doors are securable, whether drains work, whether there is loose wiring, insulation, or smoke sensors. Contractors are not required to go under houses.

A sceptical property owner would note that this sort of check is what any prospective tenant would look for when viewing a property.

Owners of buildings such as boarding houses or former motels would be well aware of what a building warrant of fitness entails. An “independently qualified person” is required to carry out the check, and may charge a fee of $150, while the local council charges around $100 per warrant.

The actual check takes a few minutes. Most of the time is taken up with arranging access, driving to and from the property, and filling out the paper work.

To comply, a property owner many have to pay $250 per building per year for a check that mostly involves filling out forms and driving to the property, much of which is done by the property owner.

Be aware that it is in the interests of child poverty lobbyists to build a false perception of the nation’s private property rentals as leaky, uninsulated, unlockable wrecks with blocked drains so that early-adopter-of trendy-cause politicians will send funding their way for innumerable schemes, like meals in schools or government-funded private social housing.

Both the National Party and the Green Party propose a warrant of fitness on rental properties, according to the NZ Property Investor magazine. The Labour Party at this stage does not propose it, but wants a capital gains tax, wants landlords to pay letting fees, and wants to take more tax from those on higher incomes.

The only reason for such schemes is that politician think they will win them votes.

But every loopy government scheme creates an opportunity, and the opportunity in warrants of fitness for owners of private rentals, who will be organizing the access for this extra round of property inspections, is to become an independently qualified person and start raking in the money from these time and money-waster building WOF checks.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here it comes everyone! ...a new wave of liscencing and fees for property owners....and this will just be the thin end of the wedge....no doubt.

Compulsory compliance to probably OTT regulations (if not at first then down the track) so the local and central govts can suck more money from those "rich pricks"....the people who have worked hard and not drank /smoked everthing they earned....why not a hefty retrospective tax as well just to make doubly sure theres no incentive to get ahead left at all.....



Dave said...

As an owner of two small rental property's I have decided to sell...the reason, Government it seems from all party's are determined to impose extra costs, all totally unnecessary and costly. Plus a capital gains tax, my property's were supposed to be our retirement fund.
So if hundreds if not thousands of other property owners are also looking at getting out of the market the result will be a huge shortage of rental property's. The effect will be Governments having to build huge numbers of State housing property's. Costly and future ghetto's, just look at some of the state housing areas today. We all know that the most efficient provider of rental housing is the private sector...in the future some bright spark will come up with this 'original' idea.