The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act is a government policy that aims to increase the quality of rental homes in New Zealand.
These new regulations introduce specific minimum standards for insulation, heating, moisture, drainage, ventilation, and draught-stopping for all rental properties.
Fixed heating devices capable of achieving a minimum temperature of 18°C are required in the living room only. Heating devices that are inefficient, unaffordable, or unhealthy will not meet the requirements of the new heating standard.
Existing ceiling and underfloor insulation must either meet the 2008 Building Code or have a minimum thickness of 120mm.
Ventilation must include openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms and an appropriately sized extractor fan in rooms with a bath, shower, or indoor cooktop.
Landlords must ensure efficient drainage, guttering, downpipes, and drains. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor, a ground moisture barrier must be installed where possible.
Landlords must stop up any unnecessary gaps or holes that cause noticeable draughts in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors. Any unused chimneys or fireplaces must also be blocked.
You must provide a Healthy Homes Compliance Statement for most new or renewed tenancy agreements. Failure to demonstrate your property’s current level of compliance may result in a penalty of up to $500.
All private residential properties must comply with the full list of Healthy Homes Standards within 3 months of any new or renewed tenancy.
All rental homes must comply with Healthy Homes Standards, regardless of when the tenancy began.
If a tenant believes their landlord has not complied with Healthy Homes Standards, they may seek a mediation and/or hearing with the Tenancy Tribunal. The Tenancy Tribunal can compel you to undertake work and impose a penalty of up to $4,000.
As a private landlord, can you answer yes to these 5 questions?
Does your rental home have an efficient heating system?
Does your rental home have underfloor and ceiling insulation?
Does your rental home have a ground moisture barrier?
Are your bathroom and kitchen fans externally vented?
Do your windows have draught-proofing?
If you can’t, it’s likely that your rental property won’t meet the new regulations. In our experience, almost every property needs work done to become fully compliant. And even if you’ve been living in your property yourself, that doesn’t mean it is compliant.
We believe that healthy homes are essential for landlords and tenants alike
Every property we manage undergoes a Healthy Homes Assessment to evaluate whether it is compliant, and to what degree. We will clearly outline what, if anything, needs to be done to bring your property up to standard in time for the 1 July 2021 deadline.
And if your property does need work to make it compliant, we can help you get it done quickly and efficiently with our network of trusted contractors.