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A License for renters & WOF for all houses – Incentives to upgrade the dated housing?

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  • A License for renters & WOF for all houses – Incentives to upgrade the dated housing?

    The pictures shows two rentals - one new built in the 70s and the other one built approximately 300 years ago.

    Both house types have similar lifestyle values in terms of heating, insulation and comfort. European housing standards do not differentiate between rental and owner-occupied homes. Incentives are focused on energy efficiency and environmental benefits (with England, I am not sure, I see similarities to NZ or AU).

    For instance my parents have been renting a 3-bedroom flat in one of the picturesque houses for more than 30 years. Their house has been upgraded and modernized every 10-15 years with moderate rent increases. “Green” investments in housing were already 25 years ago tax-free for the first year as incentives.

    Consider this—if the finance industry in NZ would not only own the securities on NZ’s homes but also tax regulated support finance for upgrading dated homes, as it is at my parent’s place, then the housing stock would be in a much better shape.

    Housing policies have failed and WOF and finger pointing to landlords won’t upgrade any homes soon, thought.
    Last edited by klauster; 30-07-2014, 01:21 PM.

  • #2
    Interesting post - we did up our first house to live in, and spent a bit extra to insulate walls and rewire etc.

    Though it wasn't entirely necessary and probably seen as over capitalizing we personally value living in a warm efficient home and like the thought that we are improving the housing stock for future occupiers of this particular home... am I just young and naive?


    • #3
      No kmor110, you are not “naïve” and do the right things.

      The most valuable asset for Kiwis is their house. Not my home. The most valuable asset for me is my healthy body and family. To keep it in this way I have invested and I’m still investing in healthy housing for comfort and life quality.

      From QV point of view I have over capitalized and from Market Value (NZ sales stats) I’m under insured. Values based on virtual figures manipulated in one way or the other, and not on replacement or rebuild value (the asset value you would insure) is a funny thing and I can only smile when people tell me the QV went up by other 50k and they still live in a cold damp house without proper heating.


      • #4
        I agree that the health and well-being of yourself and your family is really your most valuable asset.

        I think some NZ incentives such as the insulation subsidies etc offered are helpful. I personally used this to subsidize under floor and roof insulation. Mind you I do wonder how much is 'added' on to the fees of the numerous insulation/heatpump installation firms that have materialized since the scheme began.

        Tax subsidies are probably more fair as they would be easier to apply to a broader range of products and services and therefore less likely to be taken advantage of by such specialist firms. They might also be more attractive (carrot) to landlords etc who the current WOF policy targets (and I agree, serves as more of a 'stick') as they offer a financial benefit through the delayed payment of tax while also allowing them to attract longer term tenants as their house is actually nicer to live in!


        • #5
          Originally posted by klauster View Post
          Their house has been upgraded and modernized every 10-15 years with moderate rent increases.
          What do you mean by upgraded? I'm assuming this is Germany, where tenants are commonly long term and where tenants supply their own kitchens, paint the place etc? The German rental market has more in common with the NZ commercial market.


          • #6
            Food for thought

            Illegal dwellings such as seperate sleepouts with kitchen and toilet.

            Is a WOF likely to be issued on illegal dwelling no matter how good it's be done up?

            Ron Hoy Fong
            www Ronovationz.com
            Super Coach


            • #7
              Elguapo, upgrades on housing in EU are renovations to meet newer living standards, improvements which in NZ need to be capitalized e.g. replacing double with triple glazed windows, more efficient types of heating (switch to gas, oil, electricity to meet new regulations), new electrical wires and power points, audio/video cables between rooms, security features such as video door bell, adding storage facilities in the basement, separate laundry and garage or carport.

              By the way "tenants don't supply" they own their stuff and take care for maintenance and repair.
              In contrast appliances we provide in apartments here in NZ often don't survive 2 or 3 years.


              • #8
                “commonly long term” – people have reasons to rent, and if so, they treat their rental as home. And moving household is expensive. Bringing your own stuff means you have always something to buy as houses differ.

                But the main reason is everybody’s address of residence is registered by law (for social services and council billing) and there is no way to mess up a place and disappear.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RonHoyFong View Post
                  Food for thought. Illegal dwellings such as seperate sleepouts with kitchen and toilet. Is a WOF likely to be issued on illegal dwelling no matter how good it's be done up?
                  That's a very good question. Legality is not covered as such by the WOF checklist, so would add another layer of complexity to any WOF process. I wonder if this has been considered. If councils are involved in the process, as is proposed, they would one assumes have to make sure such a check was included. Landlords of such places (and there are many of them) would either fly under the radar or cease to rent out these places as separate tenancies. Even if they meet all the WOF requirements. That's a lot of dwellings removed from the rental pool.


                  • #10
                    If they are illegal, all it would take is data matching between the IRD and the council to catch most of them wouldn't it ?


                    • #11
                      WOF for rentals could develop into something to pass on the traditional housing failures (poor, cold, damp, leaky and over priced) to somebody (needs to be found). Otherwise the strict separation between rental houses and the rest wouldn’t make sense.

                      Do we have a WOF only for taxis?
                      WOF keeps cars road worthy as they were sold originally – no requirements to fit airbags, ABS, etc. to meet current standards.
                      Last edited by klauster; 31-07-2014, 05:30 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by klauster View Post
                        Do we have a WOF only for taxis?
                        Your private car needing a WOF is there to protect me, not you.


                        • #13
                          speights boy, You can come and drive down your car the Brooklyn hill road without functional breaks. Who would mind?


                          • #14
                            I assume you mean brakes ?
                            I would guess the person you hit half way down might be a bit miffed.

                            Note: when I say your car, I mean yours...klauster's.
                            Your car needing a warrant is there to protect me , not you.
                            Last edited by speights boy; 31-07-2014, 05:54 PM.


                            • #15
                              speights boy - right, I pedal the brake of my car steep hill down for my safety. That is why I pay for WOF.