26 June 2019

Healthy Home Standards - Everything you need to know

As we barrel headfirst into winter, we’re all trying to stay warm – whether crossing the street, in the car, or at home. With the new Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) set to turn up the heat on your investment properties come 1 July, read on to find out everything you need to know about the HHS.

Healthy is the new happy

Announced in February, the HHS, according to the Ministry of Business and Innovation sets minimum standards “for heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, moisture ingress and drainage in rental properties”.

The Standards have been on the horizon for property investors for a few years now, with parameters set by the Healthy Home Guarantee 2017.

If you own an investment property and are renting it to a third party, you need to make sure you’re meeting all your requirements under the new law.

It’s win-win

Contrary to popular belief, landlords are not in the firing line with the new Standards. The idea behind them is undeniable – to create better living conditions for renters, who often live in older and poorer quality dwellings than owner-occupied homes. With less autonomy to make improvements, the 600,000 households in New Zealand who rent, can’t make the necessary changes to a home they don’t own. From your average Dunedin student flat to an older villa inhabited by a family of four in Auckland – the HHS will ensure all rental properties are maintained to minimum liveable requirements.

But renters aren’t the only ones who win.  Property investors can look at this as an opportunity to renovate a rental and maximise a return on investment, capitalising on a rental yield.  

If you’re purely making repairs to your investment property, make sure you check out our blog on what you can claim back on your annual tax return.

Need to know

  • From 1 July 2019, all new or renewed tenancy agreements must include a signed statement from you stating you that you will comply with the with the new healthy standards.
  • Effective from 1 July, 2021, your investment will need to comply with the HHS for any new tenancy you take on. If your existing tenants require a renewal of their tenancy agreement, your property will need to comply with the new standards within 90 days of renewal.

Things to consider:

If you employ a property management company, you can enlist them to complete all the required inspections to see if your home meets the impending standards.

As an investor, we’d recommend taking the time to get your property up to scratch sooner rather than later. If you have any queries about what Lugtons can do to help, contact one of our Property Management team today – they can look after the whole process for you.

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