Winter is here, and so too are the Government’s healthy homes standards, which just hit a major milestone this week. As of the 1st July 2021, landlords must ensure their rental properties meet these standards within 90 days of starting or renewing a new tenancy.
Boarding houses are now required to be fully compliant (excluding Kāinga Ora and registered Community Housing Providers).
What are the standards required?
Healthy homes covers a range of areas vital to making a property a warm, dry, and healthy, including
- Heating capable of warming the main living area to 18˚C;
- Minimum underfloor and ceiling insulation;
- Extraction fans in the kitchen and bathroom;
- Opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms;
- Adequate drainage, guttering, and ground moisture barriers (where required); and
- Blocking unnecessary gaps that cause noticeable draughts.
Refer to the Tenancy Services website for more specific details on compliance.
What happens if the landlord doesn’t comply?
If a landlord fails to comply with these standards, it is considered a serious breach of their obligations and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act. For tenants to ensure their landlord complies with the standards, a healthy homes compliance statement must be provided by landlords at the start of a tenancy to show the property will meet standards within 90 days. A template for this compliance statement can be found on the Tenancy Services website. If a tenant is not supplied with a compliance statement, or if they suspect a landlord hasn’t complied, contact tenancy services to report.