Landlords allowed to get away with cold, damp homes for another year

22 November 2022

Today’s confirmation that landlords can fail to provide basic heating, insulation, and ventilation for another year is a kick in the teeth for thousands of New Zealanders, the New Zealand Green Building Council says.

The government today announced the deadline for landlords to comply with the basic Healthy Homes Standards have been pushed from 1 July 2024 to 1 July 2025. The timeframe for compliance for a new or renewed tenancy shifts from 90 days to 120 days.

“Landlords have known about these changes for over three years and have had ample time to get their properties up to the very basic levels required by the Healthy Homes Standards,” says Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council.

“If landlords can’t prioritise getting their rentals up to scratch by deadline, they clearly have little to no interest in providing a decent home for tenants. Landlords have to be responsible for providing homes people deserve. We should be cracking down on non-compliance, not affording landlords a chance to continue providing properties unfit for people to live in.”

Many New Zealanders will have just weathered another cold winter in draughty, damp, difficult to heat homes. The 2018 Census showed rentals are twice as damp as owner occupied homes, and one in five renters live with mould the size of an A4 piece of paper some or all of the time.

“We have to prioritise embedding people’s health into our rental market. That’s why we’ve long been calling for mandatory energy performance reporting for homes, and support a home Warrant of Fitness.

This isn’t the first delay to improving New Zealand’s housing stock this year. Just recently MBIE delayed some of the much needed insulation improvements required for new homes.

“Warmer, drier homes are better for everyone. They help reduce illness, use less electricity, reduce emissions, and provide happier, more comfortable places for people to thrive in. We should be doing everything we can to deliver.”