Move step closer to healthy homes
The Real Institute of New Zealand is happy the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill has moved a step closer to reality.
The Bill passed its second reading in parliament recently.
REINZ said it wanted legislation that will improve the quality of New Zealand’s housing stock.
While landlords already had obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act, there was 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, whether it be through methods of heating and insulation, indoor temperature, ventilation, draught stopping, and drainage.
‘‘There are significant pockets of New Zealand’s housing stock that is below par by world standards,’’ REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.
‘‘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 degrees Celsius, or 21 deg C for young, elderly or disabled people and the Healthy Homes Guarantee will outline standards to help ensure optimal temperatures can be achieved.’’
REINZ regularly issues educational material to its property managers to ensure they understand their requirements under the current legislation.
‘‘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,’’ Norwell said.
Real Estate Institute chief executive, Bindi Norwell.