Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced that proposals to make rental properties warmer and drier have been released for public consultation.
Healthy homes standards will set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties.
With renting a long-term reality for many New Zealand families (over one-third of New Zealanders are living in a rental home), Phil Twyford said the Government was committed to improving the quality of rental properties so families living in rental properties are happier and healthier.
The healthy homes standards follow the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017 last December and are part of the Government’s commitment to making life better for renters.
Phil Twyford says “Improving heating, insulation, ventilation, drainage, and controlling moisture and draughts will go a long way to improving the quality of rental homes. These measures can also improve the energy efficiency of homes, and reduce the costs to maintain and keep them warm and dry, benefitting both tenants and landlords.”
The discussion document seeks feedback on:
- Heating – where should heating be located, what minimum indoor temperature should heating devices achieve, should landlords provide heating where portable heaters are insufficient?
- Insulation – whats an appropriate level of insulation for rental homes and how should the condition be assessed?
- Ventilation – what is the appropriate level of ventilation to ensure rental homes have adequate airflow in areas of high moisture?
- Moisture & drainage – are existing laws for rental homes sufficient to protect against moisture and inadequate drainage or could regulations better protect against moisture entering the home?
- Draught stopping – what appropriate methods should landlords take to stop draughts in rental homes?
The government want to hear from landlords, tenants, any other interested New Zealanders about the proposals.
The discussion document also seeks feedback on the timing and phasing for when landlords must comply with the standards. The regulations containing the standards must be in place by 1 July 2019.
The discussion document and an online survey are available at www.mbie.govt.nz/healthy-homes
Consultation is open for seven weeks with submissions closing at 6pm on Monday 22 October.