From July 2019, rental accommodation must meet minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation, in accordance with a recent act passed by the government. But, a new survey has found that, a year out, almost 60% of landlords have done nothing to prepare for the changes.
The HRV State of the Home Survey, conducted by research company Buzz Channel, found 58% of tenants said their landlords were yet to make any changes ahead of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act coming into effect in July 2019.
According to tenants, only 1 in 10 landlords had installed new heating, and fewer still had talked to tenants about making their homes drier and warmer. According to landlords, 16% had installed new heating or were planning to and 17% said they had consulted tenants about the new regulations. That’s still very low.
The survey of more than 1000 respondents was conducted in association with AUT Professor of Sociology, Charles Crothers.
Crothers said many landlords were underprepared for the new law. While a third of landlords planned to put in new insulation, another third said they planned to do nothing.
“Insulation is great, but the new laws are far wider reaching with requirement for ventilation and heating options. It will mean extra costs for landlords.” Landlords should see heating as an investment into the longevity of the property, said Crothers, as “making a home warm and dry will be good for the condition of the house in the long term”.
The new act requires properties to meet minimum standards in heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, draught stopping and drainage. Tenants are responsible for reporting landlords who break the law.
However, landlords will be able to apply for exemptions from meeting the Healthy Homes standards under criteria that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will begin consulting on around September.