As if you don’t have enough to think about as a property manager, the Healthy Homes Standards applying to all rental homes in New Zealand are now in effect. We’re here to help make the process of managing compliance easy for you.
The Healthy Homes Standards came into effect on July 1 2019. From this date, it became mandatory for all rental homes to have adequate ceiling and underfloor insulation (with very limited exceptions, such as a property where insulation is impractical to install). Landlords who fail to comply could incur a penalty of up to $4,000 per property.
The compliance timeline
The next key date to be aware of is 1 July 2020. By this date, all landlords will be required to provide a Landlord’s Statement documenting the current level of compliance with the Standards for all new, varied or renewed tenancy agreements.
From 1 July 2021 private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the Standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy and by 1 July 2024 all rental homes in New Zealand must be fully compliant.
While some of these dates may seem a long time away, the timeline towards full compliance has well and truly begun and landlords have less than 2 years to provide their Landlord’s Statement of Compliance/Non-compliance. So now is the time to take action.
How we can help
Here at PropertySafe we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Healthy Homes Evaluation Report. More than just a compliance report, it offers your property management team a simple, effective and fully customisable way to process and manage the Healthy Homes Standards (HSS) requirements.
The benefit to your landlords is that the assessment identifies all non-compliance issues specific to the Healthy Homes Standards and recommends the actions needed to rectify those issues in order to become compliant. All that is required for the issue of a Certificate of Compliance is evidence that any required works have been satisfactorily carried out.
Like all PropertySafe reports, the Healthy Home Evaluation Report is conducted by a fully licensed safety inspector and is very comprehensive. It includes area-by-area results (compliant or con-compliant) with recommendations for rectification for each non-compliant issue.
As a bonus, the inspectors also conduct a high-risk safety observation while on the premises, highlighting any potential immediate safety hazards (e.g. electrical, gas, pool fencing and more) and recommended actions to rectify those hazards.
Click here to view a sample report.
How will the report benefit me as a property manager?
The PropertySafe Healthy Homes Evaluation report process can be customised to suit how you operate at your agency and how you wish to offer it to landlords. No matter which option you choose, the report offers you and your team a simple way to process and manage the Healthy Homes Standards requirements through Maintenance Manager and help guide and support your landlords through the process.
For instance, you will be able to see, at a glance, the number of properties that are compliant, non-compliant and yet to be inspected giving you complete and real time transparency into the compliance status of your rental portfolio. All properties that are yet to be inspected or have been deemed non-compliant will be highlighted and any non-compliance issues that are found in a property will be recorded as actions and work-flowed through the system so nothing can slip through the cracks.
A bit of background on the new Standards
The Healthy Homes Standards (HSS) establish minimum requirements in line with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s mandate that all New Zealanders have the right to live in a home that is warm and dry.
The Standards are broken down into 5 categories:
- Ventilation and extraction
- Draught prevention
- Moisture and drainage
Click here to read the Standards in full.
How do I explain the importance of complying to landlords?
Other than telling landlords the risk of being fined, explain that insulation helps keep their investment property warm and dry, making it more efficient to heat. When a rental home is warm and dry, tenants avoid getting sick and are therefore more likely to stay in the property longer, reducing vacancy periods. Tell them also that it is good business practice for longer-term capital gain to protect an investment property by keeping it in good condition.
In short, a PropertySafe Healthy Home Evaluation Report is designed to provide landlords with peace of mind and alert them to areas of the property that don’t comply with the Standards and what they need to do to resolve those issues to become fully compliant.
For more information, contact the team at PropertySafe on 0292 391 134 or 09 887 3299.