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March 4, 2019 | by  | in News |
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New Rental Standards On Their Way

The government has announced new standards for rental properties to make them “warmer and drier”.

Among other things, all rentals will be required to: have a heater capable of heating the main living area to 18°C, meet ceiling and underfloor insulation requirements, and have extraction fans in bathrooms and kitchens.

The standards reinforce existing drainage and guttering laws, and require the blocking of draughts that make a home harder to heat.

The standards will come into effect by mid-2019, with all rentals to comply by 1 July 2024.

From 1 July 2021, private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new tenancy. Boarding houses must also be in compliance by that date.

Housing New Zealand houses, and registered Community Housing Providers—such as The Salvation Army—must be in compliance by 1 July 2023.

The New Zealand Green Building Council has welcomed the announcement, but says it still isn’t good enough. Chief Executive Andrew Eagles said the timeline is too long, and that the announcement lacks detail in some areas, such as draughts and heat.

The National Party’s Judith Collins described the standards as an “attack” on landlords. She claimed that the standards will drive rents up.

However, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said that “the maximum cost for landlords is likely to be about $7000”.

The Green Party has also supported the standards.

In a press release, they claimed National “would rather save landlords some cash than look after sick kids”, citing respiratory diseases linked to damp and mouldy rental properties.

The Greens did acknowledge they thought most landlords were already “doing the right thing”.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy Services website.

The new rental standards include:

  • A heater in the main living area capable of heating it to 18°
  • Ceiling and underfloor insulation
  • Extraction fans or rangehoods in kitchens
  • Extraction fans in bathrooms
  • Ground moisture barriers in some cases
  • Reinforcement of existing drainage standards
  • Blocking of significant draughts
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