Tenancy.co.nz

When do the amendments to the Healthy Homes Standards commence?

Recently Team Connect Consultancy has been inundated with calls and emails about when the amendments to the Healthy Homes Standards come into play.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on December 3 that there will be changes to the heating calculator that will generally enable smaller heating devices to be installed in new homes built to the 2008 Building Code requirements for insulation glazing and apartments.

In the proposed changes, HUD has outlined that there should be a grace period so landlords can adapt to the new heating calculator.

Instead of having 90 days to comply, new and renewed tenancies are set to have 9 months to meet the revised regulations.

Crucially this grace period will only apply from the proposed commencement date, which at this stage is April 2022.

“This grace period will not apply retrospectively to rental homes where a tenancy agreement was entered into or renewed between 1 July 2021 and the date the proposed changes come into effect,” HUD said in cabinet document.

This is undoubtedly extremely frustrating for owners who will be required to comply with the current Healthy Homes Standards before April 2022.

But MBIE Senior Engagement Advisor Raymond Suen told tenancy.co.nz said these changes are still being finalised.

“Any proposed changes (including a grace period) can only be enforced once the regulations are developed, passed and in effect,” Suen said.

“Landlords must still comply to the current Healthy Homes Standards requirements.

“The April 2022 date is also just an indication of when HUD expects the regulations to take effect, but this isn’t a definite date.”

Other proposed changes include an increase to the electric heater ‘top up’ allowance from 1.5kW to 2.4kW if there is an existing qualifying heater installed prior to July 2019.

The trigger point to top up or replace existing heating installed before July 2019 has also been revised to existing heaters that are at 80% of the required heating capacity, reduced from the current 90%.

Once the heater needs to be replaced due to wear and tear it will need to meet the full requirement of the healthy homes heating standard.

Other planned changes include providing an exemption from meeting the heating standard for the small number of rental properties which use direct geothermal heating for which the heating capacity is not stated. 

The amendments to the Healthy Home Standards in draft form are still yet to be released, but we will update you when more information comes to hand.

 

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