In an unexpected move, the deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards has been extended.
The government today announced that the compliance deadline has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.
The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are phasing in new rules which landlords will need to meet in relation to heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, draught stopping and drainage.
The next step of the phase-in was to have landlords provide tenants with a statement of compliance providing information on if and how their rental property complies with the Healthy Homes Standards.
But COVID-19 has constrained landlords’ ability to meet this compliance by 1 July.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand lobbied during lockdown, asking for an extension.
“In order to complete a compliance statement, landlords need access to their rental properties and to allow tradespeople to complete inspections to determine the level of compliance,” Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi said.
“However, restrictions to property access during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 have limited landlords’ ability to undertake this activity.”
“Further delays are likely during Alert Level 2 due to backlogs caused by the lockdown. That’s why Cabinet has agreed to delay the requirement until 1 December 2020.”
The extended deadline will not affect any of the dates by which rental properties have to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards. The delayed deadline only refers to the requirement for a detailed statement of current compliance. The remaining deadlines are not being changed.
“Moving the deadline to 1 December 2020 will mean new tenancies beginning over the summer period in December and February can be incorporated into the statement of compliance process.”