The Cabinet decided to extend the deadline for Healthy Homes Standards from 1st July 2020 to 1st December 2020.
The new law requires landlords to prepare detailed tenancy agreements that fully disclose the ways in which their homes meet the Healthy Homes Standards, allowing tenants to evaluate whether the rental properties are compliant or not.
The Healthy Homes Standards took effect on 1st July 2019.
The new law significantly revised the requirements for heating, ventilation, insulation, drainage, draught stoppage and moisture ingress.
The law requires landlords to provide their tenants with a statement of compliance, as described above, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for landlords to comply by 1st July, the original deadline. Specifically, landlords need to access their rental properties and hire appropriate personnel to audit each property’s current level of compliance. Under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and Level 4, landlords are advised to stay at home as much as possible to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.
Further delays are expected under Alert Level 2 because of backlogs caused by the lockdown. For this reason, the Cabinet decided to delay the requirement until 1st December 2020.
It is worth noting that the extended deadline only applies to the statement of compliance. It does not change the dates by which properties are required to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards:
• 1st July 2021: Rental properties have 90 days from the start of any new tenancy to fully comply with the new Healthy Homes Standards.
• 1st July 2021: From this date onwards, landlords must ensure that their boarding houses are fully compliant with the new standards.
• 1st July 2023: All houses rented by Kāinga Ora (formerly known as Housing New Zealand) and registered properties must comply with the Healthy Homes Standards. The same also applies to providers of community housing.
• 1st July 2024: All rental houses must fully comply with the Healthy Homes Standards.