Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) legislation has now completely rolled out for private rental properties and residential landlords are obligated to meet specific requirements to be compliant.
When is a healthy homes statement required?
Since 1 July 2021, residential landlords have been legally obligated to provide an HHS statement of compliance when starting a new tenancy agreement or updating an existing tenancy agreement. Neither party can legally sign a new or revised tenancy agreement without the HHS statement being provided.
Do you need a Healthy Homes statement if you started a tenancy before 1 July 2021?
If a residential tenancy began prior to 1 July 2021, landlords aren’t required to have an HHS statement. Landlords in this situation will only become liable when they amend the terms outlined in their tenancy agreement (meaning it needs to be resigned by all parties), or if they start a new tenancy agreement.
What happens if your Healthy Homes inspection finds your rental property isn’t compliant?
The objective of the HHS statement is to provide a document outlining the rental property’s level of HHS compliance. An HHS statement is informed by an inspection of the home, carried out by an expert.
The inspection and resulting statement identify and report on how the rental property measures up against the five key Healthy Homes Standards: heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draft stopping.
If the home doesn’t meet the standards, the owner has 90 days from the start of a new or revised tenancy to complete any work necessary to bring the home up to scratch.
Why you shouldn’t wait to have your Healthy Homes inspection completed
While landlords aren’t bound by law to produce an HHS statement until they start a new tenancy agreement or amend their existing one, leaving your HHS inspection until this time may have negative consequences.
The Christchurch rental property market is experiencing delays to remedial HHS work due to COVID-related shortages in materials, appliances, and availability of tradespeople.
With this in mind, it’s recommended landlords schedule an HHS inspection as soon as possible to avoid any delays preventing them from starting a new tenancy or becoming non-compliant after 90 days.
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Image: ‘Man and woman with house on a light blue background’ by Marco Verch Professional via CC BY 2.0.