Basic – START BASIC
I have been watching the Housing Warrant of Fitness debate with considerable interest.
As a start I propose the following to apply on all residential dwellings:
Basic WoF for Residential Dwellings. Dwellings to be marked on:
- Structural Integrity (i.e no leaks, supports compromised, window frames not severely rotted)
- Electrical wiring and fuse box compliant with current codes
- Insulation in external walls, roof space and under floors.
- Heating and ventilation specific to region (e.g. HRV ventilation for Auckland and Northland, Heating Panels for Southland and Otago)
- Working Smoke Alarm near kitchen and every subsequent level if two storeys or higher
The inspections would be done every five years, when a house is sold (if sooner), or if major work was under taken that requires an inspection report sign off.
The inspections themselves would be handled by the current inspectors doing certification work for commercial, industrial and apartment buildings, and or building inspectors in Councils. The fees charged would be to cover the at-cost of the service for the WoF only and not a revenue maker for Councils nor Government Departments if they handle it.
Tenants can demand to see the WoF at any time and new tenants would be shown the current WoF before agreeing to any tenancy.
If the dwelling fails a WoF the first time the failure will be noted only. Beyond that given the above five points are health and safety related I am inclined for punitive action against the owners or names on the title.
Housing is a basic right and economic need. No one should be dying nor getting severely sick from poor housing stock in New Zealand.