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REINZ Welcomes Healthy Homes Bill moving to Next Stage

Real Estate Institute welcomes Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill moving to next stage

The Real Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) welcomes the announcement that the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No. 2) has passed its second reading last night, as the organisation continues to push for legislation that will improve the quality of New Zealand’s housing stock.

While landlords already have obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act, there is no guidance about the specific standards they must meet to ensure warm and dry accommodation. The new standards outlined in the Bill seek to describe what constitutes adequate:

Methods of heating and insulation

Indoor temperature

Ventilation, draught stopping, and

Drainage.

Bindi Norwell, CEO at REINZ, says: “There are significant pockets of New Zealand’s housing stock that is below par by world standards, and any improvement will be of benefit to the health and wellbeing of Kiwis – particularly in relation to respiratory illnesses caused by cold and damp housing e.g. asthma and rheumatic fever which can have significant impacts for children and elderly people.”

“The World Health Organisation recommends an indoor temperature of 18°C, or 21°C for young, elderly or disabled people and the Healthy Homes Guarantee will outline standards to help ensure optimal temperatures can be achieved,” continues Norwell.

REINZ regularly issues educational material to its property managers to ensure they understand their requirements under the current legislation and provides best practice guides and seminars on critical property related issues e.g. insulation and methamphetamine impacted properties.

“Our advice to landlords is not to leave it to the last minute when it comes to installing insulation which is required by mid 2019, as they may struggle to meet the requirements in time – especially if they are looking to use a specialist provider for installation,” points out Norwell.

ENDS

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