If you own rental property you need to be aware that the government announced specific and minimum standards are now in force for heating, insulation, ventilation moisture and drainage and draught stopping.
The Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 require that all private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.
Any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement must now include a comprehensive report of compliance.
What is involved in healthy home inspections?
Healthy home inspections will check the five key compliance requirements for healthy homes standards. Ceiling insulation and underfloor insulation are now compulsory in all rental homes and will be checked.
Moisture control will be checked, as part of the high risk health and safety issues, enclosed subfloor spaces must have a ground moisture barrier.
Cold damp homes may require a heat pump as part of the heating inspection. Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of surface water, stormwater and ground water.
Draught stopping is required to make sure the property doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or high risk holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts. All unused open fireplaces must be closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.
As a landlord am I legally required to meet healthy homes standards?
Yes, private landlords must ensure that their rental properties comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new tenancy. Healthy homes compliance should not be regarded as an imposition though, it is in a landlord’s best interest to have their investments optimised.
These healthy homes standards will help ensure landlords have healthier, safer properties and lower maintenance costs for their investments.
What happens if my rental property does not meet the healthy homes standards?
Failure to comply with the healthy homes standards could prove expensive, tenants living in rental homes that fail a compliance inspection can be fined a $4,000 penalty that may be paid to the tenant and still ordered that the property be made fully compliant.
If you are concerned about renewed tenancy agreements with regard to healthy homes standards you need to have a healthy homes inspection, qualified inspectors will provide you with a full audit report as part of the inspection report and outline the most cost-effective solution to any issues your residential tenancies may have.
Inspections are inexpensive and are usually completed in less than two hours and give renters confidence that a home meets ventilation, insulation, heating and energy efficiency standards, and provides landlords with the peace of mind that they are meeting their legal obligations to tenants.