When adequate insulation in a rental property became compulsory as part of the first stage of the Healthy Homes Standards in July 2019, many independent landlords were caught short. With the next deadline looming, the time to act is now to avoid penalties and problems in tenanting your property.
From July 1 2021, all private landlords, whether they self-manage their rental property or have their property professionally managed, must comply with the Healthy Homes Standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy. This means you potentially only have a few months to ensure compliance.
Some background info
If you have owned a rental property for a while, the Healthy Homes Standards would not be unfamiliar to you. The Standards were introduced in February 2019 following extensive research and surveys that highlighted the inferior state of a large proportion of New Zealand’s rental accommodation, specifically that many tenants were residing in properties with inadequate heating, ventilation and insulation. The Standards came into effect on July 1 2019 to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Zealand tenants and their families by ensuring they have access to one of life’s basic necessities – a home that is warm and dry – something many owner occupiers take for granted.
Healthy Home Standards benefit property owners too
The Standards also have benefits for you as a property investor, including lower vacancy rates, lower long-term maintenance costs and improved capital gain because efficient ventilation and insulation protects your property from problems forming due to those issues that become increasingly expensive to resolve over time.
The timeline – where are we now?
A compliance timeline was created to give landlords the time required to assess their properties, have any necessary maintenance work done and complete all required documentation. On July 1 2019, underfloor and ceiling insulation became compulsory in all rental properties where it was reasonable and practical to install. Then on 1 December 2020, all landlords were required to provide detailed information in their new or renewed tenancy agreements specifying how their property meets the standards. You now have until 1 July this year to ensure full compliance with all five of the Standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy – insulation, ventilation, heating, draught stopping and moisture/drainage. Failure to comply with all five Standards within this timeframe means you could incur a penalty of up to $4,000 for each property you own that doesn’t comply.
Compliance made easy
If you don’t know where to start and don’t have time to organise everything that is necessary to ensure compliance within the next few months, help is available to make the process easy and stress free. New Zealand’s leading residential safety and property inspection provider, PropertySafe offers a Healthy Homes Inspection and Evaluation Report that identifies any non-compliance issues and the best solutions to resolve them. Once any issues are resolved, PropertySafe will issue you with all the documentation you need to prove full compliance.
Here’s how it works. For just $299 a Healthy Homes Inspection will be conducted at your property by a qualified and insured inspector. You will then receive your detailed report with recommendations provided in the report which will assist with obtaining quotes to rectify the issues. Once the work is complete, simply submit the evidence to PropertySafe and a Compliance Certificate and Section 13A Statement will be issued to you. This is all you need to meet your obligations. Simple. Click here to order your report today or contact the team at PropertySafe on 09 887 3299 (North Island) or 03 288 0244 (South Island).
We suggest you act quickly because if work needs to be done on your property, COVID-19 has resulted in extended wait times for tradespeople.