Exam time for city flats

Building surveyor Gwynn Gilmour inspects the roof of a  Castle St flat yesterday. Photo by Craig...
Building surveyor Gwynn Gilmour inspects the roof of a Castle St flat yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A Dunedin landlord taking part in a national warrant of fitness trial for rental properties says the checks could become mandatory, so being involved at the start is a chance to provide feedback and iron out any issues.

Four of Jan Fraser's student rentals were inspected by Flanders Marlow building surveyor Gwynn Gilmour yesterday morning - two in Leith St and one each in Castle and Queen Sts.

The inspections take up to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the house.

Flanders Marlow is conducting 25 rental property checks in Dunedin for the Dunedin City Council.

The Dunedin, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch and Auckland councils are each testing a 31-point checklist for assessing the standard of rental properties.

Most of the 16 - a mix of student and other rentals - inspected so far have been found to be in reasonable condition.

The standard overall was fairly representative of the Dunedin rental housing stock, Mr Gilmour said.

The checklist included insulation, exterior condition, roofing, the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.

He declined to say how many flats had failed the assessment at this stage.

Ms Fraser said she worked hard to maintain a high standard in her flats, but was receptive to suggestions. She was not sure exactly when she would receive her properties' reports, which would first go to the warrant of fitness field test project team in Wellington.

She supported the checks, which should enhance the health of the population over time through improving the housing stock. However, she was concerned about how new landlords might fare faced with mandatory requirements to get a recently purchased house up to scratch. She hoped to help those evaluating the pilot to think through the practicalities when making recommendations for a future mandatory scheme.

Dunedin City Council events and community development manager Rebecca Williams said she had not seen the results so far, but expected to once the national project group had them.

The trial was more about refining the assessment than how many properties failed, she said.

Council flats as well as private flats were part of the test.

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