New standards for warmer, drier rental houses – In the News

Landlords will have up to five years to install heaters, fans and insulation, under strict new standards to make rental homes warmer and drier.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford announced the new standards on Sunday, which set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture, drainage and draught stopping.

He said Ministry of Health data showed 6,000 children were admitted each year for ‘housing-sensitive hospitalisations’: “we cannot continue to accept this”.

All rental homes will be required to have a heater in the main living area, ceiling and underfloor insulation, bathroom extraction fans and kitchen rangehoods, adequate drainage and guttering, and for any draughts to be blocked.

The regulations are expected to become law by mid-2019: from 1 July 2021, all new tenancies must comply with the standards within 90 days of a new tenancy, and from 1 July 2024 all rental homes must meet the standards.

Twyford told Newstalk ZB that about half of rental properties already have extractor fans and two-thirds had a fixed heating source. “We’re really talking about bringing the bottom end of the market up to where everyone else is and setting a minimum standard.”

The new standards were covered by local media, including:

Stuff: Owners of rental properties have until 2024 to reach healthy home standards, Government announces
NZ Herald: Housing Minister Phil Twyford unveils new standards for all NZ rental homes
Newshub: New rental home standards will cost Housing New Zealand $200 million
Newstalk ZB: Twyford won’t say how policy changes will affect rents
TVNZ: Government announces stricter standards for ‘warmer, drier’ rental homes