Winter is Coming, and so Are New Healthy Homes Standards

June 9, 2021

Winter is Coming, and so Are New Healthy Homes Standards

by | Jun 9, 2021 | blog

Landlords, are you losing money to procrastination? If you own a rental property, you will be aware that the clock is ticking on the 1 July new Healthy Homes Standards – your tenants most certainly will be.

From 1 July 2021, the fine for failing to comply with the standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy is $7,200, plus the additional costs of making your home compliant and any mark-ups you may face due to last-minute demand.

If you fail to provide healthy homes information you could face a charge of $750.

Avoid Confusion

One reason some landlords are procrastinating is that the information is confusing. For example, the Government has made wattage, not temperature, the goal of measurement for a rental property living room.

One of the new standards also calls for the size of the openable windows and doors to be at least five percent of floor space in each room, while another speaks about ‘noticeable drafts’. An unclear understanding of the standards may result in you paying more than you have to, as well as being caught short.

If you’re a landlord struggling to understand the detail of what’s required, talk to Maintain To Profit about getting a healthy home assessment.

Summary of Standards

The 1 July deadline – now just weeks away – for implementing the new regulations will require landlords to have their properties up to these minimum standards for new and renewed tenancies:

Heating: Every rental property should have one or more compliant fixed heaters that can heat the main living room to the required heating capacity. You can use the Government’s healing tool to ascertain what you may need, or talk to MTP about an expert assessment.

Insulation: Ceiling and underfloor insulation have been compulsory since 1 July 2019. Any top-ups will need to meet R-values (resistance values) set out in the 2008 Building Code (at least 120mm thick).

Ventilation: Every single room in the property must have openable windows and doors that must have a total area of at least five percent of the floor area in each room. The openable windows must be fixable in an open position; your kitchens and bathrooms need to have extractor fans that ventilate externally.

Drainage: Your rental property must have efficient drainage for removing stormwater, surface water, and groundwater (including an appropriate outfall). The system needs to include gutters, downpipes, and drains for the roof. If the property has an enclosed subfloor, it should have a ground moisture barrier installed (where reasonably practicable).

Draught stopping: Landlords must block any unreasonable gaps and holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. Open fireplaces should be blocked unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise.

* Exemptions may apply to some standards

With a strong presence, the team at Maintain To Profit – property investors and homeowners ourselves – has thousands of hours of experience assessing homes for renovations, house extensions, and homebuilding.

For an accurate, expert, and fair assessment of whether you meet the new healthy home standards, talk to MTP. With the expertise, reasonably priced supply lines, and good capacity, MTP is ready to make sure your property complies.

Act today to avoid product shortages and increased supply and demand issues that may impact prices.

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