Last Tuesday, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford visited our EcoCentre on Forresters Lane to announce the public consultation for the proposed standards for the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act (HHGA). This is taking place at the same time as the public consultation for the reform of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), announced a week earlier. These changes will have a significant impact on rentals in New Zealand, both from the perspective of tenants and of landlords.
At first glance, the two look to cover much of the same ground, but that’s not the case. The insulation provisions in the RTA will now be contained in the new HHGA next June. In addition the HHGA will also regulate such things as heating, ventilation, draughts, moisture control and drainage. The RTA will focus on issues such as tenants' security and tenure while protecting landlords’ interests.
The following post covers the respective consultation processes in more detail, and will hopefully give more information as to what is being discussed and help ensure the feedback you provide is relevant.
Healthy Homes Guarantee Act:
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act passed into law in December 2017, amending the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
The HHGA enables the government to create regulations that set minimum standards to create warmer, drier rental homes - the healthy homes standards.
The healthy homes standards will set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, draught-stopping, drainage and the control of moisture in residential rental properties.
A discussion document on proposed healthy homes standards is now available for comment.
The document seeks feedback on five healthy homes standards:
The discussion document also seeks feedback on the timing and phasing for when landlords must comply with the standards.
Reform of the Residential Tenancies Act
A targeted reform of the Residential Tenancies Act is underway to support the Government’s goal of making life better for renters.
The reform aims to:
A discussion document on proposals to reform New Zealand’s tenancy law is now available for comment.
The document includes the following proposals:
We hope this helps clarify the difference between the two pieces of legislation.
Another issue is the overlap between the HHGA and the RTA – homes that are compliant under the existing RTA insulation provisions may not meet the proposed HHGA standards – but we’ll address that in a separate post another time.
We work closely with landlords and property managers around the Wellington region. Find out more here about how we can help ensure your property meets the required standards, and sign up for our newsletter (see the footer below) to make sure you stay up to date with future legislation changes.
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