When the Healthy Homes Standards were introduced, it was to ensure all residential rental properties had a minimum standard for heating, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draft stopping.
For landlords and tenants, this means all rental properties must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021. However, if you've been keeping an eye on things, you'll have seen that by 1 December 2020, all rental properties will need a certificate of compliance which states the current level of compliance must be included in any new, renewed or fixed term tenancy agreements that will come to an end before the relevant compliance dates.
So what does this mean for you?
The certificate you have must outline whether or not your property complies. If it doesn't, the document must state when and how it will comply by the required date. This became law in July 2019, so it is a legal requirement to comply. To find this certificate, head to https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/assets/Forms-templates/compliance-statement.pdf
Alongside deadlines, landlords much keep all documentation relating to rentals. Landlords have always been required to keep rental summaries, rent increases and rent records, but they have additional records they must also keep on hand if required to show them. These include the Code of Compliance of a property, Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or the certificate of acceptance if no compliance has been gained.
They must also have:
a copy of the assessment using the heating tool and the measurements used to determine the required heating capacity.
all work done on the property, including photos of compliance, receipts from builders and tradespeople.
any manuals or schedules for installed devices for the purpose of compliance with the HHS.
All documents relating to a rental must be kept for 12 months after the tenancy ends. Should the Tenancy Tribunal require any documentation, landlords have ten days to comply, or they will pass the case onto the Tenancy Compliance and Investigation team. If this timeframe is not met, and there is no valid excuse, the landlord will be committing an unlawful act which could result in fines or financial penalties.
All documents relating to the rental home must be kept during the tenancy and for 12 months after the tenancy ends. Retention of all financial information such as rent and bond records remains the same timeframe of 7 years after the tax year in which they relate.
According to the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, Landlords are urged to complete the Healthy Homes Standards requirements as soon as possible. The effects of Covid-19 on the supply chains have meant that there is, for example, a shortage of heat-pumps available in the country. Once heat pump supplies increase there may not then be enough tradespeople to complete the work within the 1 July 2021 timeframe.
For more information on any of this, get in touch with us.