Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill
A catch up with Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill. Since it narrowly passed its Second Reading with a 61-60 vote in Parliament at the end of July, it has now passed the third reading and has now reached royal assent. The Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 with the purpose of ensuring that every rental home in New Zealand meets minimum standards of heating and insulation – something that a lot of tenants can confirm is a necessity.
Under current legislation, landlords are legally obligated to:
Ensure smoke alarms are installed in all rentals from July 2016. Tenants are responsible for replacing batteries and notifying landlords of defects. There must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm in a hall or similar area, within 3m of each bedroom door.
Fit rental properties with ceiling and underfloor insulation by 1 July 2019. Certain exemptions will apply to properties where it is physically impractical to retrofit insulation.
Make certain that rental properties have a source of heating.
If you’re looking to meet these standards by the designated time, feel free to contact us to discuss options surrounding the upcoming change. We not only look after our property owners, but, care for our tenants just as much.
Maintain their property at a minimum indoor temperature.
Delay the requirement for insulation until five years after the Bill receives Royal Assent (moving compliance requirements to sometime in 2022)
The requirement to maintain a minimum indoor temperature is the only new requirement in the Bill not covered by existing laws. The requirement and Bill is criticized by the Government as unenforceable and redundant. Additionally, how landlords will comply with the temperature requirement is unclear as owners cannot control how heating, windows, and doors are used by tenants.
Despite the ongoing debate over the new Bill, insulation will be required at some point. Quinovic Lambton Quay recommends getting your property insulated sooner rather than later to avoid running out of time. Our close affiliation with Wellington’s finest tradesmen makes us a fantastic port of call to orchestrate the requirements that are needed for the Bill.
If you’re concerned at the possible changes, grants of up to $2000 will be available for eligible landlords to upgrade their stock. Under the previous law rentals were only required to be insulated – by the same date in 2019 – if it was practicable, with 100,000 homes excluded from the requirement. For more info, feel free to call us!