Healthy Homes Standards – What you need to know!
As the changes in legislation kick in for rental properties, we want to make sure you understand what it means to be a landlord.
There are 5 key changes that need to be addressed for your rental property to get the Healthy Homes tick.
- Heating – A fixed source of heat that can warm the main living room to 18deg year-round.
- Insulation – Compulsory since 1st July 2019; make sure insulation meets the new standards set.
- Ventilation – Liveable spaces have an opening door or window; bathrooms and kitchens need to have a continuous mechanical ventilation system that must be installed to Healthy Homes standards.
- Moisture Ingress and Drainage – Efficient drainage for the removal of stormwater, surface water and groundwater. Rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must have a ground moisture barrier – Clarification that landlords are not required to install alternative moisture barriers where installation of a polythene barrier isn’t reasonably practicable in the subfloor area.
- Draught stopping – Unreasonable gaps that cause draughts must be fixed; this includes walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors. Also, unused fireplaces are closed off, or chimneys are correctly blocked.
Know your Dates!
- 1st July 2020 – Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the HHS in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement. Statements are mandatory; failure to comply will result in financial penalties for landlords by way of Tenancy Tribunal fines and compensation awarded to any affected tenant. The financial penalty for an incomplete statement is $500 minimum.
- 1st July 2021 – Private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the HHS within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.
– All boarding houses (except Kāinga Ora, formerly housing NZ and community housing provider boarding house tenancies) must comply with the HHS.
- 1st July 2023 – All Kāinga Ora houses and registered community housing provider houses must comply with the HHS.
- 1st July 2024 – All rental homes must comply with the HHS.
Updates to Healthy Homes Standards Compliance Deadlines – May and November 2022
Effective 26 November 2022, there have been adjustments to the compliance schedules of the healthy homes standards. This pertains to private landlords, Kāinga Ora, and Community Housing Providers who haven’t met the standards yet:
- From 1 July 2021 to 1 July 2025, all privately rented properties need to meet the healthy homes standards. The exact deadline depends on the initiation or renewal date of each tenancy.
- Properties managed by Kāinga Ora (previously known as Housing New Zealand) and those under registered Community Housing Providers have to meet the standards by 1 July 2024.
- As of 1 July 2021, all boarding houses should already align with the healthy homes standards.
- There is an extension for certain landlords, granting them until 12 February 2023, to meet the heating standard. This extension is a grace period. Further details on this can be found in the updates from May 2022 concerning the Healthy Homes Standards.Please head to the Tenancy Services website for full Healthy Homes updates: Click Link Tenancy Services Healthy Homes
Ray White Taylor Rentals has you covered!
Stage 1 – Provide a statement concerning all 5 areas of the HHS to new or updated tenancy agreements
- The statement will include information about the property’s current level of compliance with the HHS. The statement will cover heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage and draught stopping. This statement is specific and will include evidence and measurements. We will work with our preferred Healthy Homes assessors to carry out all assessments. As this falls well outside of our Property Manager roll, there is a cost to the property owner.
Stage 2 – To ensure rental properties comply with all new HHS.
- The deadline for this is 1st July 2021; our HH assessors report will state whether the property complies with the new HHS or what work needs to be carried out for the home to comply. They will also include a quotation to bring the property up to the new standards; however, there is no obligation to proceed with their quote.
- We will be arranging to have a report produced for each property we manage unless landlords opt out. This will help you plan ahead and create an action budget plan for the work that is required to meet HHS before 1st July 2021. We strongly advise against opting out as it could be more costly in the long run.
Smoke alarms must be installed in all Residential rental properties by 1st July 2016
What Sort of Smoke Alarms Need to be Installed?
- Where there are currently no smoke alarms, long-life photoelectric alarms will need to be installed. Long-life alarms cannot have their batteries easily removed, and are more cost-effective over time because batteries do not need to be replaced every six to 12 months. If a property has existing smoke alarms that are not long-life photoelectric, landlords will not need to replace them immediately. But when they do need replacing, they must be replaced with long-life photoelectric alarms.
Is the Landlord or Tenant Responsible for Changing Batteries?
- It will be the duty of the tenants to replace smoke alarm batteries. While the responsibility for battery replacement in standard 9-volt battery alarms would remain with the tenant, the need to replace batteries would reduce over time as landlords replace existing alarm types with long-life ones.
We currently work closely with SATS (Smoke Alarm Testing Services).
- As a Landlord, your Tenant’s safety is the top priority. To protect the Tenant and your property, it is recommended to have working smoke alarms installed and maintained as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
- SATS undertake services to ensure that your property’s smoke alarms are Installed and Maintained to the Building Code and Compliance of New Zealand.
Click on the SATS logo to head to their website for more information:
What we have already done for our Landlords.
- All our managements have been brought up to standard to comply with the new Smoke Alarm legislation brought in 1st July 2016.
- Since July 2016, we have facilitated the process that all new tenancy agreements have included an Insulation Statement.
- Since August 2019, we have also provided an Insurance Statement with tenancy agreements, outlining whether or not the property is insured and the excess amount of any policies.
Contact us to talk HHS today at email@example.com