Learn how warmer, drier homes can cost a little and bring a lot of reward
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act will benefit rental housing in Northland, though there will be some upfront costs we all have to swallow.
Most urgent for landlords to understand is the following. From 1 July 2019, landlords are required to…
- Keep records that demonstrate compliance with healthy homes standards
- Include a signed statement of intent to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.
- From 1 July 2019, ceiling and underfloor insulation are compulsory in all rental homes where installation is practicable.
From 1 July 2021, private landlords must ensure their rental complies with the standards within 90 days of any new tenancy. All rental properties must meet the Healthy Homes Standards by 1 July 2024.
The Healthy Homes Standards were finalised in autumn 2019 and Rental Experts encourages landlords to understand the updates below
Heating will soon have to be provided for tenants (2021 for new tenancies; 2024 for all)
All rental homes will be required to have a heater that can heat the main living area to 18˚C. Some landlords are installing heat pumps and passing the costs onto tenants . In most cases, the fixed heating device required will be a larger device such as a heat-pump or wood burner. In some cases, such as small apartments, a smaller fixed electric heater will be sufficient. The minimum size of the small fixed heater that will be acceptable is 1.5 kilowatts.
Some heating devices are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy to run, such as unflued gas heaters, open fires and electric heaters (except heat pumps) with a heating capacity greater than 2.4 kilowatts. These particular heating devices will not be accepted in the heating standard. While they can still be used, they won’t meet the standard. Thus, the landlord will in most cases need to provide an alternative, acceptable fixed heating device. Draughts that make a home harder to heat will have to be blocked.
Rental homes must have ceiling and underfloor insulation that either meets the 2008 Building Code insulation standard, or (for existing ceiling insulation) has a minimum thickness of 120mm. Ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install.
Extractor fans for bathrooms and cooktops; removing moisture
Rental homes will have to have extraction fans or rangehoods or be able to adequately ventilate moisture. For example, if rental homes have an enclosed subfloor space, property owners will need to install a ground moisture barrier to stop moisture rising into the home
Behind the standards: what the government is thinking
MBIE’s Tenancy Services and Housing Ministry say rental homes are often well below the World Health Organisation’s recommended minimum indoor temperature of 18°C. An online tool will be available from July to enable landlords to calculate the required capacity of a heater in kilowatts. This tool will provide a kilowatt figure using the size of the room and information about insulation and windows.