Mainstreet Whanganui has called for a one-stop shop to help landlords understand building compliance requirements.

The organisation, which represents businesses and property owners within Whanganui's central business district, says each particular area of compliance involved dealing with a different organisation or department.

Mainstreet acting chairman Peter Robinson told the Whanganui District Council's statutory management committee that owners often had to deal with a raft of issues including resource consent, building consent, fire regulations and heritage rules.

The organisation wanted a working group formed to help building owners understand what was required of them.

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"So instead of facing five or six or seven compliance regulations, there is some consolidation," Mr Robinson said.

"Not a number of bits and pieces like a tray of biscuits you eat one at a time."

The committee was hearing submissions on council's proposed dangerous and insanitary building policy which outlines how council will perform its role under the Building Act 2004.

In the past council has acted on dangerous and insanitary buildings when one was brought to its attention but the proposed policy says council will take an active approach to identify such buildings.

Mr Robinson also suggested a heritage based rate for buildings that have a work programme and timetable set.

Owners faced difficulties with the work and money required for building compliance coupled with tenancy rates and levels which don't necessarily fund it, he said.

"If the community values the buildings we don't think the community can properly say 'you do what we want but it'll be coming out of your pocket'.

"It needs buy-in from the community to protect the community value."

Mainstreet also wants the proposed policy deferred until earthquake prone building rules and flood plan policy is in place.

Mr Robinson said it was not advocating for buildings to be left unsafe but wanted some clarity about how the policy will be enforced.

"The last thing we want to see is council having to try and enforce [this policy] on a building which is not tenanted and an owner which is a $1 unlimited liability company."