• Tenants claim landlords are failing to prepare for Healthy Homes Bill

    Less than a year out from the introduction of new healthy home laws for rental accommodation, almost 60% of landlords had done nothing to prepare for the changes, according to a new survey.

    The HRV State of the Home Survey, found 58% of tenants said their landlords were yet to make any changes ahead of the Heathly Homes Guarantees Act coming into effect in July 2019.

    The new law will require minimum standards for heating, insulation, and ventilation in rental homes to ensure properties are warm and dry, although regulations for heating and ventilation are yet to be released.

    “The first question I have is – how can one prepare for legislation that has not yet been confirmed or released?” asked head of Ray White property management Zac Snelling.

    “While it is safe to say that this Bill will outline new or updated requirements for heating, insulation, internal temperatures and more, we are yet to see any detail on exactly what is required of us and our landlords.”

    It’s understood, the regulations for the Healthy Homes Bill are set to be released sometime this month.

    So not surprisingly, just 1 in 10 landlords had installed new heating, and fewer still had talked to tenants about making their home drier and warmer.

    The response was different when landlords were asked the same questions, with 16% saying they have done or are planning to install new heating and 17% saying they had consulted tenants about the new regulations.

    The survey of more than 1000 respondents, which was commissioned by HRV and done in association with AUT Professor of Sociology, Charles Crothers.

    Professor Crothers said many landlords were under prepared for the new law, and while a third planned to put in new insulation, the need to make changes was not a priority for well over a third of landlords who said they planned to do nothing.

    “Insulation is great, but the new laws are far wider reaching with requirement for ventilation and heating options. It will mean extra costs for landlords, however on the flipside these improvements, and making a home warm and dry, will be good for the condition of the house in the long term,” Crothers said.

    “It has to be seen as an investment in their tenant’s well-being and into the longevity of their property.”

    The survey found 63% of Kiwis would like to be living in a warmer and drier home – with renters it’s even higher at 75%, compared to only 57% of homeowners.

    Professor Crothers said renters were significantly more likely to suffer from condensation, cold, mould and dampness than homeowners.