- Why 18 degrees Celsius is going to be such a significant temperature for landlords and tenants in New Zealand
- Tens of thousands of rental properties may soon become non-compliant
As winter approaches, few will dispute that the majority of rental property in New Zealand are not good enough. Thousands of tenants up and down the country live in cold, damp property that makes a mockery of our global clean green image.
Late last year a bill was passed through Parliament that will literally change the face the housing in New Zealand forever, yet many people are unaware as to the true impact of this legislation and the cost of compliance.
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill became law in December 2017 and many landlords are utterly oblivious as to the impact of this bill. The Labour backed bill got through Parliament on the second attempt late last year due to the fact that it had support from the previous National Government coalition partners the Maori Party and from United Futures. Because of this, it got through the first reading by one vote.
This bill is in our opinion, the single biggest piece of legislation for tenancy law since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act back in 1986. It is simply going to change the face of renting forever.
Along with Labour stating that they are going to build 100,000 new houses, we are seeing the largest and probably most ambitious undertaking by any government surrounding housing in New Zealand since the Savage Government of 1936.
Why is this bill so significant and what is going to be the impact for both landlords and tenants?
The bill focuses on the ability of tenants to be able to keep their rental property warm and dry using energy efficient heating. The penalties for landlords who do not comply with this bill will be severe and we believe that the majority of rental properties across this country would not meet the criteria.
What does the bill focus on?
The Healthy Homes Guarantee bill states that all rental properties must meet the following standards.
- Standards about the indoor temperatures that must be capable of being achieved in the premises. We believe that this will be 18 degree Celsius.
- Heating. Probably likely that the source of heating must be energy efficient.
- Insulation. These standards have already be set.
- Moisture ingress.
- Draught stopping.
If landlords fail to meet obligations in respect of the healthy homes standards, then they may potentially face exemplary damages of up to $4,000 plus they will face a work order instructing them to get the property to the standards before they can rent it out.
18 Degree Celsius
World Health Organisation recommendation for minimum indoor temperature
How Many Rentals Will Comply?
The big question we are all asking at the moment is what are the standards going to be? As yet we do not know but if you read between the lines one can assume that they indoor temperature capable of being achieved will be 18 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature set by the World Health Organisation as to what constitutes a suitable minimum indoor temperature for a home.
Many properties around New Zealand simply would not be able to……….
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