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What to do if your property doesn’t meet the healthy homes’ standards - Healthy Homes NZ

May 30, 2021by Nathaniel0

To get your property up to scratch, maintenance work may be required.
During a healthy home assessment, our technicians conduct a full audit of your property against the five standards of the Healthy Homes regulations – insulation, heating, ventilation, draught-stopping and moisture, ingress and drainage. Once completed, you’ll receive a report that details whether the property meets the healthy homes’ standards.

Based on your healthy home assessment, there may be some things you need to do to bring your property up to standard. Let’s break it down by standard:

Insulation

Ceiling and underfloor insulation has been compulsory in all rental homes since 1 July 2019, however some existing insultation will need to be topped up or replaced to meet minimum R-values or thickness requirements – depending on the age of the insulation.
For ceiling insulation – total fill, top-up or re-lay may be required (sometimes tradies get in the ceiling and move the insulation or downlights haven’t been cleared).
For underfloor insulation – existing insulation may not have been installed according to the manufacturer’s standards, it could have fallen out or be foil insulation (which has been banned in New Zealand).

Heating

All rental properties must have at least one fixed heater* which directly heats the main living room to at least 18 degrees – and can maintain this temperature all year round.
Based off your assessment, we get the required heating capacity for the property, then determine which course of action is best suited.
If there is existing heating – we can top up the existing device with a panel heater or a secondary heat pump, or we can install a replacement with the required heating capacity.
For apartments – we go to the body corp to see if external penetrations are allowed, and if not, we install a panel heater to meet the required capacity.
*Certain heating devices that are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy will not meet the requirements of this standard.

Ventilation

Rental properties must have at least one door or window (including skylights) that opens externally in all bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, lounges and kitchens. They must make up at least 5% of the total floor area in each respective room and be able to be fixed in the open position. All kitchens and bathrooms must have an extractor fan that ventilates externally (some exemptions apply).

Bathroom
If an extractor fan is already installed but not externally vented or in good working condition, we’ll recommend you install a new fan (in our experience, its difficult to retrofit older extraction units to be ducted outside).
We’ll make sure its installed back to the light switch – this will help ensure your tenants turn on and use the fan.
All our fans meet the minimum standard diameter of 125mm. They also meet the required exhaust capacity.

Kitchen
If the rangehood is broken, or there is no rangehood, we can install a new one. In this instance, we will install it with a new switch (not connected to the light).
Where a rangehood is not a reasonable option, we will install an extractor fan.
In apartments, we often recommend re-circulating rangehoods (if body corp does not allow external ventilation). These have carbon filters which must be changed every 12 months.
If there is an existing rangehood, we can duct outside if external ventilation is allowed.

Draught-stopping

You must block any unreasonable gaps and holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. Open fireplaces must be blocked unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise.

For timber doors and windows, foam draught-stopping is best. This will be installed either down the side or across the bottom of the window – this means the window will still be able to open and close easily.
For aluminium windows, 90% of the time its friction stays which we can replace.
If a window needs to be replaced, this will require an additional quote.

Moisture, ingress and drainage

Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of storm, surface and ground water including an appropriate outfall. The drainage system must include gutters, downpipes and drains. If the property is an enclosed subfloor, a ground moisture barrier must be installed (unless there is adequate ventilation).

Ground moisture barrier
If the property requires a ground moisture barrier, this involves laying a 250MU polythene sheet on the ground to stop the moisture rising. This is then pinned and tapped around the piles.

Gutters and downpipes
If cleaning is required, our gutter cleaners will either waterblast or use a SkyVac to vacuum out any debris.
If it’s a repair or replacement job, we can repair or replace the required sections of guttering and downpipes.

 

The maintenance work is complete
From here, we’ll send you an invoice for the maintenance work. Once this has been paid, you’ll receive an updated Healthy Homes Assessment Report and Certificate.

Let us do the heavy maintenance lifting
At Healthy Homes NZ, we can provide competitive quotes – and in many cases, instant pricing – for all maintenance work you may need to meet the healthy homes’ standards.
We’ll also keep track of all your jobs, liaising with tradies in your area through our extensive tradie network, and get in touch with your tenants, to sort out various arrangements – saving you the time and hassle of managing multiple
parties.
The tradespeople we work with are fully qualified, licensed, and insured. They’ll assess your property based on the outcomes of your healthy home assessment and provide us with the best options for each standard specific to your property.
Alternatively, if you already have a healthy home assessment (done by us or someone else), we can still manage your maintenance work for you. If you choose to sort the maintenance on your own, send us the before and after
photos, and the invoice, and we’ll update your report free of charge.
There are lots of options – to organise healthy homes maintenance work for your property, get in touch with the team at Healthy Homes NZ today.

Nathaniel

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Get in touchSocial links
Healthy Homes NZ is a family run business dedicated to providing professional services to meet the compliance requirements of the property management industry.

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