Associate Minister of Housing Kris Faafoi says the deadline to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards has been pushed back from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.
While the Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019, compliance with them is being phased in over a number of years.
The next stage 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 Standards.
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, Faafoi says.
“However, restrictions to property access during Covid-19 alert levels three and four have limited landlords’ ability to undertake this activity and further delays are likely during alert level two due to backlogs caused by the lockdown.”
That has led Cabinet to agree to delay the requirement for compliance statements until 1 December 2020.
Faafoi says it will mean new tenancies beginning over the summer period in December and February can be incorporated into the statement of compliance process.
But the extended deadline will not affect any of the dates by which rental properties have to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards, he adds.
“The delayed deadline only refers to the requirement for a detailed statement of current compliance. The remaining deadlines are not being changed.”
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell is delighted that, after months of lobbying, the minister and his officials have taken on board the feedback from the property management profession.
She says there were significant concerns that compliance statement template wasn’t going to be available in time due to the high Covid-19 related workload the Government has been placed under.
“Also, there were concerns the qualified tradespeople who were expected to complete the compliance statements were unable to complete the high number of inspections still required post-lockdown.”
Initially, the profession asked for a two-month extension, so the five-month extension is considered extremely welcome news.
However, Norwell says the advice they issued to landlords and property managers earlier in the year around not leaving inspections until the last minute still applies.
“We would encourage people to have their inspections booked at their earliest convenience – obviously still taking Covid-19 safety and physical distancing requirements into account.”
*MBIE has developed a template for landlords to use for their statement of compliance. It is available here.
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