Housing experts want to see WOF on all homes Friday, 17 October 2014

Source: 3News

Many houses currently on sale on Trade Me wouldn't meet the standards that state houses are forced to meet, says a building expert.

But New Zealand building company Jennian Homes wants this to change, and the company is calling on the Government to make sure all homes meet the Building Code before they're sold.

The Government introduced a trial warrant of fitness scheme in February which forced a sample of 500 state houses to meet a 49-point checklist including being insulated and dry, safe and secure, and have essentials amenities like a bath or shower and a toilet.

Now Jennian Homes' Dave Wilson wants to see the WOF extended to all houses as he says Kiwis are continuing to get sick from sub-standard housing.

"There is a responsibility to ensure houses are made safer and that sub-standard homes should not be allowed to be passed on to a new owner, or be rented out," he said.

"This is a requirement for landlords and homeowners wishing to sell, to invest in their houses ... The flow-on effect is that New Zealanders will have houses that are more healthy and far cheaper to run."

Mr Wilson says houses as young as 15 years old might not pass the code and could be putting families at risk.

"Jennian has nothing to gain or profit from this, we see it as our social responsibility to drive any initiative that will result in New Zealanders living in safer, healthier homes," he said.

It would cost about $9 million to extend the WOF to all houses, Mr Wilson said.

When the state housing WOF scheme is in full force every state house will be assessed on a three-yearly basis.

A separate trial in May which assessed 144 rental properties around the country found 94 per cent failed at least one of the 31 criteria on the check list.

What the state housing WOF requires:

  • Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and laundry ventilation
  • Roof intact and not leaking
  • Ceiling and under-floor insulation
  • No or limited mould
  • Hot water
  • Windows
  • Working smoke alarms
  • Power points


The NZCPHM Policy on Housing is available on the Policies & Publications page.