Background

On 1 July 2019 the government’s Healthy Homes Standards for rental properties became law and timelines were issued for landlords to ensure their rental properties are compliant with the new standards. Landlords are responsible for maintaining and improving the quality of their rental properties. These standards will help ensure landlords have healthier, safer properties and lower maintenance costs for their investments. The standards will also make it easier for tenants to keep their homes warm and dry.

Whether you are an existing landlord, or an investor looking to purchase your first rental property, you will need to confirm whether the following areas of Heating, Insulation, Ventilation and Weather Tightness and drainage are compliant with the new legislation. Failure to meet the required standards in the timeframe could lead to a fine being imposed.

As a professional property manager, we have the knowledge systems in place to guide you through the compliance process to remove the risk of non-compliance.

What?

Under the new standards rental properties will be required to have the following:

• A fixed heater that can directly heat the main living area to 18c. An online calculator is now available to determine what size heater you need. https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/heating-tool/

• Ceiling and underfloor insulation that meets the 2008 Building Code insulation standard and is reasonable condition. Existing ceiling insulation installed before 1 July 2016 must have a minimum thickness of 120mm.

• Openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms must have appropriately sized extractor fans.

• Efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water. Rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must have a ground moisture barrier.

• Landlords must make sure the property doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause draughts. All unused open fireplaces closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.

When?

The compliance timeframes are:

• 1 December 2020 – All new, varied or renewed tenancy agreements from this date will need to include a statement of the current level of compliance with the new healthy homes standards.
• 1 July 2021 – From this date, private landlords must ensure that their rental properties comply with the healthy home standards within 90 days of any new tenancy.
• 1 July 2024 – All rental homes must comply with the healthy home standards.

Scoping of all existing managed properties

The Rent Shop Nelson has engaged Hays Plumbing to scope all of our existing and new managed properties for compliance with the incoming standards to meet these deadlines. As a new client, we can arrange for this to be completed for your property at the cost of $120+GST plus our usual maintenance charges. Whilst you can choose to opt out of this service, in doing so you undertake to provide the full scoping information required to us, prior to 1 December 2020.*

* Original date was extended from 1 July 2020 following COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Further Information

For full details on the requirements visit https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/healthy-homes/

If you have any questions relating to the above, the rental market in general or about property management services, please call our Business Development Manager Julian Kett on 022 639 2620, or email at julian.kett@therentshop.co.nz