Healthy Home Requirements: What it all Means

Healthy Home Requirements: What it all Means

The government has imposed multiple deadlines sparking action on getting all of New Zealand’s rental properties up to their “healthy homes” standard by 2024.

The first of the deadlines, imposed on private landlords, is July 1, 2021. Following this date, rental providers will have to comply with the new standards 90 days after any new tenancy or renewing tenancy.

Providers who have not had a change in tenancy will have until July 1, 2024 to comply.

In order to meet these standards, landlords must ensure their rental homes have:

  • A heater in the living area of a property capable of heating the space to 18 degrees celsius.
  • Ceiling and underfloor insulation with a minimum thickness of 120mm.
  • Ventilation in the form of opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms, and extractor fans in all kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Ground moisture barriers to prevent moisture rising into the home.
  • Adequate drainage and guttering to prevent water entering the home.
  • Draught stoppers to block any draughts that make a home harder to heat.

Harcourts Marlborough property management division manager Lavina Diamanti says the majority of their home owners will already be well on the way to meeting these standards.

“For us, I would say 99% of our managed properties already have adequate heating because that has been a focus for us over the years,” she says.

“Houses that are poorly heated don’t attract quality tenants; quality homes attract quality tenants, the two go hand in hand.”

Insulation had also become a priority for Harcourts Marlborough tenants after the government updated insulation requirements for rental properties in 2016.

Properties which have had insulation installed or topped up as a result of these regulations will comply with the Healthy Homes requirements.

The insulation deadline is July 1, 2019.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is already going around the country carrying out audits on that; we have already had an audit which we passed with flying colours,” Lavina says.

The new requirements, coupled with a potential capital gains tax on rental properties being considered by the government has lead to concerns by many that New Zealand will have a drop in available rental properties.

However, Lavina says property remains a solid investment.

“Compliance has become more difficult, but that’s where we come in. We know what we are doing, we know what the laws are and we make sure that the owner is protected because we make sure that they are compliant in all aspects of the law.”

Despite a potential short term decrease in the amount of rental properties available as a result of the changes, Lavina doesn’t expect there to be a long-term impact.

“Blenheim is seen as a good market to invest in for investors, a lot of out of towners and overseas investors are investing in the market here. This will open the way for serious investors,” she says.

Any former rental-homes which make their way to the market as a result of the changes will also create opportunities for first home buyers, she says.

If you have any questions about the changes and what they mean for you, give Lavina and her team a call on 03 578 0888.

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