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What Happens if You’re Not Compliant With the Healthy Homes Standards After the Deadline?
There are two upcoming deadlines for Healthy Homes Standards compliance: the 1 December 2020 Compliance Statement deadline and the 1 July 2021 deadline for properties to comply with the full list of regulations for any new or renewing tenancy. If the deadlines are not met fines of up to $4,000 may be incurred if landlords are taken to the Tenancy Tribunal.
Compliance Statement Deadline
The first deadline is 1 December 2020. Landlords must include a Healthy Homes Compliance Statement stating their current level of compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards in most new or renewed tenancy agreements. This statement isn’t required if the tenancy is for a fixed term, which ends before the Healthy Homes compliance date for the tenancy. Landlords who don’t comply could face a financial penalty of up to $500.
This statement is in addition to the requirement since 1 July 2019 to include a statement in new, renewed or varied tenancy agreements that confirms landlords will, or already do, comply with the Healthy Homes Standards. It is necessary to provide both, separately signed, statements. Failure to include a signed statement confirming compliance, or the intention to comply, in tenancy agreements may also result in a financial penalty of up to $500.
Deadline for Full List of Healthy Homes Regulations to be Met
All private residential properties must comply with the full list of regulations for the Healthy Home Standards within 90 days of any new, or renewed, tenancy from 1 July 2021. By July 2024 all rental homes must comply with the Standards, regardless of when the tenancy began.
If a tenant believes their landlord hasn't complied with the Standards, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a mediation and/or hearing.
The Tenancy Tribunal has the ability to order a landlord to undertake work and impose a financial penalty of up to $4,000 that is normally payable to the tenant.
Benefits of Complying
The Healthy Homes Standards have been brought in to improve the quality of rental homes. Providing a compliant property has huge advantages for landlords and tenants alike. Compliance is mandatory and if deadlines are missed, not only are landlords liable for large fines, but the Tenancy Tribunal will order landlords to remedy quickly. Engaging contractors at short notice is likely to be more stressful and less cost effective. Therefore there is no advantage to not complying before the deadlines.
It is easy for landlords who choose not to comply to be found out. If a landlord is taken to the Tenancy Tribunal for an unrelated matter the Tribunal will still check whether the property is complying with the Healthy Homes Standards. The Bond Centre will also run checks to determine whether Compliance Statements have been received.
Get Ahead of the Deadlines
Getting ahead of the deadlines makes good sense for landlords. Crockers recently welcomed news that the Compliance Statement deadline for Healthy Homes was moved from July 2020 to December 2020, but advised landlords not to leave inspections to the last minute. Having a Healthy Homes Compliant property is also a huge advantage for those looking to sell their investment properties.
For general advice on the NZ Healthy Homes Standards and what you need to be doing to meet the deadlines on time, contact the Crockers team today.