The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act was passed in 2017 and is now law. By July 2021 all rental housing in New Zealand has to meet as standards as set out in the act.
Private landlords have to ensure that their rental properties comply with the standards within 90 days of a new tenancy.
While legislation like this is frequently seen as interference with the landlord-tenant relationship, we actually welcome this particular legislation. Simply, we agree that our tenants should have the benefit of healthy homes and if remedial work is required then acting on that not only benefits the tenant, but we believe that there are tangible benefits to landlords as well.
A large part of the legislation deals with doing away with excessive moisture in the home (covered in this later article). We see homes where this is not dealt with and we see the long-term damage that excessive moisture levels create to the building, i.e. adding costs to landlords. Dealing with these issues will avoid those costs.
Healthier homes attract better tenants and higher rents. At Metro NZ we like to stand out above the norm with the presentation and quality. That definitely includes heating facilities and insulation.
For an excellent overview have a look at the website https://www.raisethestandard.nz. That gives both landlords and tenants an excellent summary of the requirements.
The Statement of Compliance.
Any new tenancy agreement or renewed tenancy agreement now has to include a compliance statement which states that the landlord either already complies with the healthy homes standards or that the landlord will comply with the healthy homes standard. Metro NZ properties can assist to ensure that the correct wording is used on the new tenancy agreement or alternatively the form can be found here: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/assets/forms-templates/compliance-statement.pdf
We ensure that the correct information, provided by our legal team, is included with our tenancy agreements.
You may already comply with some or all of the requirements then dig out the relevant documentation. The act states that landlords will have to comply with any requirements for record keeping and statements in the tenancy agreement. Fines of up to $4000 could apply for non-compliance. (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development – Healthy Homes Standards – Common Questions and Answers). Here is a list of documents that you should have accessible:
- Any records of building consents regarding the building work in relation to the standards.
- Any records from professionals or labourers who did any building work in relation to the standards.
- Photographic evidence of compliance.
- Copies of inspection reports
- Receipts/invoices for material and labour.
- Any other salient records or documents.
While on the surface the requirements are straight forward, if things don’t work out as expected, then they are everything but. Metro NZ is well versed with the requirements and processes for the healthy homes standards, so why not give us a call if you need any assistance.
Call 021-642119 or email [email protected] for more information.