Rental Housing Warrant of Fitness

University of Otago Public Health Summer School -Kura Hauora Ā-Iwi o te raumati

Monday 26 February 2018 more details please  click   Towards healthier homes: the rental WoF



August 2017 We are proud to announce that New Zealand’s first Rental Warrant of Fitness (RWoF) programme will be available in Wellington from 28 August 2017.


This voluntary programme aims to improve the standard of Wellington rental properties and provides benefits for both landlords and tenants. The University of Otago, Wellington acknowledges the support of the Wellington City Council in partnering with us to launch this programme.

RWOF App for download:  This self-assessment tool is free and covers all 29 criteria of the Rental Warrant of Fitness inspection. 

Download from Google Play

Download from iTunes   (Note: from iTunes, this is only available to download on a mobile device)

View media release here

Read the Q & A for more detail

What is the Rental Warrant of Fitness?

The rental housing Warrant of Fitness (RWoF) is an evidence-based housing quality checklist. There are 29 criteria, covering aspects such as ventilation, heating, safety and hygiene. These are considered to be minimum requirements for the health and safety of occupants. Take a look at the assessment sheet

Has it been trialled?

In 2014, in partnership with five city councils, the Green Building Council and the Accident Compensation Corporation, He Kainga Oranga conducted a pre-test of a draft RWoF on 144 dwellings. This showed that all 29 criteria could be easily assessed in a variety of dwellings.

When is it available?

The programme will be available in Wellington from Monday 28 August 2017. Further information will be posted at this time, including how to access the pre-assessment app and make a booking for an assessment.

Accredited University of Otago Rental WoF Assessors

Derek Adaway

Bruce Gigg

Robin Clarkson

Jo Wills

Natalie Managh

Richard Morrison

Gregg Street

Murray Pinkerton

James Davies

Nik Gregg

Phil Gregg

Matthew Cutler-Welsh


Supporting Information

WOF_Assessment_Criteria_and_Methodology__Version 3  provides more detail on the assessment criteria. Please note that an updated version of this manual is scheduled for release in early September. For more information on the implementation process and the case for a mandatory rental WoF, see the Rental WoF Background Paper.

Supporting Research

Bennett, Julie. 2016. Costs to Reach Minimum. Build (157): 77-78

Bennett, Julie, Elinor Chisholm, Rachel Hansen, and P Howden-Chapman. 2014. Results from a Rental Housing Warrant of Fitness Pre-Test. Wellington: He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme.

Bennett, Julie, Philippa Howden-Chapman, Elinor Chisholm, Michael Keall, and Michael Baker. 2016. “Towards an Agreed Quality Standard for Rental Housing: field testing of a New Zealand housing WOF tool.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health 14(5): 405-411

Gillespie-Bennett, Julie, Michael Keall, Philippa Howden-Chapman, and Michael Baker. 2013. “Improving Health, Safety and Energy Efficiency in New Zealand through Measuring and Applying Basic Housing Standards.” The New Zealand Medical Journal 126(1379): 74-85

Note: The rental WoF is based on a larger housing quality assessment tool – the Healthy Housing Index (HHI).


Previous Press Releases

University of Otago press release Rental Warrant of Fitness to start in Wellington and Dunedin, 17 December 2015.

Health Research council press release: Study to help improve New Zealand’s housing for children, 4 June 2015.

University of Otago press release: ‘Warrant of Fitness’ for rental properties will soon be available, 2 August 2013.


Contact Details

For more information about the RWoF or supporting research, please contact:

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington


Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington