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REINZ Calls For Healthy Homes Deadline Extension Due To COVID

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is today calling for an extension to the Healthy Homes deadline as there is a high likelihood the next deadline will be missed by a number of landlords as a result of COVID-19.

Under the requirements, from 1 July 2020 all landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.

However, due to COVID-19 landlords and property managers have been unable to access properties since the country went into Alert Level 4 lockdown and therefore, may miss the deadline due to the backlog of properties.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Before the country went in lockdown on Thursday 26 March, landlords and property managers across the country were working hard to meet the 1 July deadline.

“However, since lockdown, landlords and property managers have been unable to access rental properties to allow qualified tradespeople to complete compliance statements. As inspections are required by either qualified tradespeople or people with ‘sufficient, relevant experience’ it now means there is a backlog of properties to be assessed and therefore, that Compliance Statements may be unable to be completed by the deadline causing delays to a tenancy commencing,” she continues.

“We wrote to the Housing Ministers nearly a month ago flagging that this was likely to become an issue, but we are yet to receive a reply,” points out Norwell.

“Once we move into Level 2 we assume that more tradespeople will be able to recommence inspections, but given the bottleneck that has been created we are calling for the compliance deadline to be extended for by two months until 1 September,” concludes Norwell.

Notes to Editors

Inspections by qualified tradespeople (or people with sufficient, relevant experience) are necessary given the type of information required for Compliance Statements, including:

  • For each ceiling insulated, either the insulation’s R-value and, if known, the date it was installed and when it was last inspected, or the thickness of the insulation and, if known, the date when it was last inspected
  • For each underfloor space the insulation’s R-value and, if known, the date it was installed and when it was last inspected
  • For each ceiling and suspended floor that isn’t insulated, the reason why not
  • If a landlord relies on the tolerance or ‘top-up’ allowance for existing heaters, they will need to state this, with a brief description of why it applies
  • A statement that the rental property has an efficient drainage system
  • Either, that the property does not have any enclosed subfloor spaces or that each enclosed subfloor space has a ground moisture barrier.

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