The Healthy Homes initiative has been running since late 2013 but has officially become law on 1 July 2019.
The standards create specific and minimum requirements for all rental properties in respect to heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, moisture ingress and drainage.
The compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) has been phased in over several years with the next stage having landlords to provide information on if and how their properties comply with standards.
When will I have to meet the standards?
The type of tenancy you are in or the kind of landlord you are will determine when you will have to meet the standard. Here we mainly focus on private residential landlords.
From 1 July 2019, all landlords must state in new, renewed and varied tenancy agreements that they will comply with new Healthy Homes regulations as required by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
All agreements signed on myRent after 1 July 2019 would have included this statement. The latest insulation template available on Tenancy Services combines both insulation and healthy homes statement.
What is a varied tenancy agreement?
If during the tenancy, there was a change to the terms that both landlords and tenants originally agreed to, this will be a variation to a tenancy agreement. These will include but not limited to - change of tenants, change of pet policy, change to a subletting clause.
It is always recommended this variation to be in writing, dated and signed by both parties to avoid any future disputes.
A rent increase will not be classified as a change to the tenancy agreement as it can be issued without the tenant's prior agreement. Although if, for example, the rent increase is due to changes that benefit tenants (substantial improvements to the premises), then it will be classified as a variation.
From 1 Dec 2020:
Most private residential landlords will need to include information on each of the standards in any new, renewed or varied tenancy agreement even if they are not yet required to comply with the standards.
Healthy Homes Standards – current level of compliance statement needs to be completed and attached to a tenancy agreement.
Please note initially the compliance date for this step was set as 1 July 2020 but was later changed to 1 December 2020. The restrictions to property access during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 meant landlords had limited ability to inspect their properties, allow tradespeople to determine the level of compliance and to complete the works.
Exemptions that may apply to you:
If the tenancy is for a fixed-term that expires before the healthy homes date of compliance, the HHS compliance statement doesn't need to be completed (the insulation statement should be provided instead)
If the tenancy agreement was created and signed prior 1 December 2020, but the tenancy starts after 1 December, you don't need to include Healthy Homes Standards – current level of compliance statement.
From 1 July 2021:
Landlords must ensure that all rental properties comply with the HHS within 90 days of new, renewed or varied tenancies.
The boarding houses will have to comply with the standards by 1 July 2021
From 1 July 2024:
All rental homes must comply with the HHS.
The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. myRent.co.nz does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.