The Healthy Homes Standards officially became law on 1 July 2019 and introduced specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.The Standards have been created to improve the quality of rental properties, making them healthier and safer for tenants, and making it easier for them to keep their homes warm and dry for their families.
As part of the Standards, from 1 December 2020, all landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards in any new or renewed tenancies.
The type of information required for the Compliance Statements includes:
• For each ceiling insulated, either the insulation’s R-value and, if known, the date it was installed and when it was last inspected, or the thickness of the insulation and, if known, the date when it was last inspected
• For each underfloor space, the insulation’s R-value and, if known, the date it was installed and when it was last inspected
• For each ceiling and suspended floor that isn’t insulated, the reason why not
• If a landlord relies on the tolerance or ‘top-up’ allowance for existing heaters, they will need to state this, with a brief description of why it applies
• A statement that the rental property has an efficient drainage system and ventilation systems
• Either, that the property does not have any enclosed subfloor spaces or that each enclosed subfloor space has a ground moisture barrier
Because of the level of detail required, inspections should be carried out by qualified tradespeople or other professionals who have sufficient experience to evaluate a property against the Standards and provide a detailed report, ensuring peace of mind.
While a professional report will come at a cost, a qualified tradesperson will be able to measure rooms accurately, check ducting in ceilings, evaluate the condition and installation of insulation and ground moisture barriers, and advise and report on how a property measures up against the precise criteria of the Standards.
Failing to gather the information required to complete the compliance statement could be costly for landlords, as they could potentially face fines of up to $4,000. They may also end up with vacant properties after failing to attract quality tenants, with prospective tenants preferring dryer, warmer, healthier homes that already meet the standards.
Although compliance statements will be required for new or renewed tenancies from 1 December, it is important landlords gather the information now and have it on file. If they don’t have a report prepared when a tenant gives notice, they may have to leave the property vacant while they take the time to get the property inspected and the compliance statement prepared.
Need to get your rental compliant?
We provide Healthy Homes Assessments and cost-effective solutions for all five areas of the Healthy Homes Standards. This saves time for property managers and landlords and minimises disruption to tenants, reducing multiple contractors visiting them.
Our experienced and friendly team of assessors and installers are all employed in-house and can help you get ready for the upcoming deadlines quickly and efficiently.