Healthy homes standards - here's what you need to know as a landlord.
There are five healthy homes standards that all rental properties will need to comply with by 1st July 2024, and sooner if you have a change to a tenancy after 1st July 2021.
A fixed heating device must be installed that can achieve a temperature of at least 18°C on the coldest of days. This temperature is a standard recommended by the World Health Organisaton for the minimum indoor temperature. It is important to note that this requirement is only for the living room of the property. It is anticipated that in most cases the fixed heater will be a heat-pump or wood burner for the larger living rooms, however a fixed electric heater may be enough for smaller rooms.
Properties managed by Harcourts are set to meet the 2016 insulation requirements by the 1st July 2019 deadline. However, under the new insulation standard, there is a new group of rental homes affected. The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must now either meet the 2008 Building Code, or for existing ceiling insulation, have a minimum thickness of 120mm. These affected rental homes will already have approximately 70-120mm of ceiling insulation, so the requirement is to increase this to a minimum of 120mm.
Under the new standards, all kitchens and bathrooms must have mechanical extract ventilation. In addition, all living rooms, dining, kitchen and bedrooms must have windows that can be opened.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is calling for the Government to make an exemption for shower-steam domes, arguing that these are cheaper and quicker to install than an extractor fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard
Properties must have adequate drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If there is an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier (if possible to install) that will protect the home from rising moisture.
Draught Stopping Standard
The standard states that landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in the walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors. If there is an unused chimney and/or fireplace, these will need to be blocked.
The final date for complying with the new healthy homes standards is 1st July 2024, however if you have a new tenant or a varied tenancy after the 1st July 2021, you will only have 90 days to comply.
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