The Healthy Homes Standards mean new requirements for Ventilation, Heating, Insulation, Moisture Ingress, and Draught Stopping.
In our last newsletter I highlighted two of the new regulations in the Healthy Homes Bill, Ventilation and Heating. As promised, this time I will look at two more, Moisture Ingress & Drainage, plus Draught Stopping, and try to explain the requirements in plain English as translated from the Residential Tenancies Act.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage
So what are the new requirements around Moisture Ingress and Drainage? Landlords must ensure that their rental properties have efficient drainage and guttering, and efficient downpipes and drains, with emphasis on ‘efficient’ which I’m sure most landlords already do as this is good old fashioned general maintenance. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor, Healthy Homes Regulations now require that it must have a ground moisture barrier, if it is “reasonably practical” to install. What is an enclosed subfloor? The air space under the floor that is enclosed between the ground and the floor level by walls that have only subfloor vents. The ground barrier is quite simple, a polythene sheet easily sourced from any building supplier held down by wire pegs making it easy to install and not requiring a qualified installer. It is not reasonably practical to install where a builder cannot access the relevant areas, without having to carry out substantial work, or without creating greater risks to the health and safety of any person doing the installation.
What are the new requirements around Draught Stopping? In every rental property, a landlord must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. Plus, all unused chimneys and fireplaces must be totally blocked off with no draughts. Again, not too onerous as this would be a basic expectation I’m sure most landlords already meet.
Your Property Manager will be doing a Healthy Homes Checklist at the next routine inspection, so we can than assess with you in advance with what may need to be addressed.
I’m sure we all support the requirement for healthy homes for tenants and again, I’m sure most landlords already meet most requirements. Exactly how practical and effective these requirements will be, i.e. will a ground barrier actually pool water, is a process we will proceed down with care and common sense.
General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management
Contact us if you have any questions about the Healthy Homes Standards on the form below.