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.
at 11:49 AM