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Changes to the Healthy Homes Standards came into force on 12 May 2022.
These changes affect the heating, ventilation, and moisture ingress and drainage standards. We look closely at these updates and how to ensure you are compliant.
What Are the Healthy Homes Standards?
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act is a policy that was brought in to improve the quality of rental homes. The primary intention was to make homes warmer and drier for New Zealand renters and to reduce the number of hospitalisations due to poor housing.
Read more about the Healthy Homes Standards and What Happens If You’re Not Healthy Homes Compliant?
What Are the Latest Changes to the Standards?
The most significant change is a new heating formula for modern dwellings and certain apartments. This reflects that these types of properties are better at retaining heat.
The Government’s heating assessment tool has been updated and can now calculate the required minimum heating capacity using both the new and original formula.
Other updates to the standards include:
- additional ways to comply with the heating standard;
- extra allowances for situations where acceptable heating was installed prior to 1 July 2019;
- changes to the ventilation standard, and
- clarification for the moisture ingress and drainage standard.
These updates allow for a more tailored approach to meeting the intent of the standards. There are more details on the Tenancy Services website.
Which Properties Does the New Heating Formula Apply To?
The new heating formula applies to the rental properties that are either:
- Built to the 2008 building code
- Part of a residential building of at least three storeys with six or more commercial or residential units
- Insulated and glazed throughout, so that they now meet or exceed the 2009 insulation and glazing standards.
The changes mean smaller heating devices may be installed in these types of properties, to better reflect how they retain heat.
What is the Compliance Timeframe?
A revised deadline of 12 February 2023 for compliance with the heating standard applies to support transitioning to these changes.
This applies if:
- It is a private tenancy
- The new heating formula is applicable to the rental property and the landlord chooses to use it
- The end of the 90 day compliance timeframe is on or after 12 May 2022 and before 12 February, 2023.
Landlords of these properties must continue to comply with the other Healthy Homes Standards within 90 days of any new, or renewed, tenancy.
How Can I Ensure I Am Healthy Homes Compliant?
Ensuring your property meets all the required healthy homes regulations and complies with the Residential Tenancy Act is paramount, with fines for non-compliance being quite hefty.
Changes to the law can be confusing and the regulations around residential tenancies have been a real area of focus over the last few years. Ensuring you are Healthy Homes Compliant as well as ensuring you have an understanding of other areas of law such as the Privacy Act can be stressful for landlords.
At Crockers, our Property Managers receive regular training on the multiple areas of law applicable for landlords, and can help provide the processes and guidance to ensure you meet all of your legal obligations. Find out How a Property Manager Can Help You, or request a Property Management information pack here.