• Tenants set to feel the heat as Government release plan to warm-up NZ

    The Government has released the eagerly awaited discussion document that will form the foundation of the Healthy Homes standards.

    The Healthy Homes standards will set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties.

    Most interestingly, the Government is considering a number of options for compulsory heating: including where heaters should be in the rental property, a minimum temperature the heating device should achieve and what heating devices should be allowed.

    Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the Government was committed to improving the quality of rental properties so families living in rental properties are happier and healthier.

    “Renting is now a long-term reality for many Kiwi families with over one-third of New Zealanders living in a rental home. We know rental homes are more likely to be older and of poorer quality than owner-occupied homes,” Phil Twyford said.

    “Many rental homes are cold, damp, and mouldy which can contribute to a range of health issues including respiratory conditions, toxic reactions and allergies. Such illnesses can affect people’s employment and economic opportunities because they have to take more sick days, and affect children’s educational outcomes because they are off school more.

    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.

    “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.

    “We want to hear from landlords, tenants and any other interested New Zealanders about these proposals,” Phil Twyford said.

    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.