“Our members are actively taking steps to ensure their properties are warm and healthy,” said Terry le Grove President of the NZ Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF).
“We are aware of the Housing Improvement Regulations of 1947 which come under the Health Act 1956. With regard to the adverse effects on health of damp housing, both of these have been referred to by the Tenancy Tribunal since 1986”.
A recent paper by researchers from the Universities of Otago and Victoria urges that landlords should be required to comply with the minimum standards set out in these regulations and Act until a Warrant of Fitness for rental properties can be implemented
“Section 45,1c of the Residential Tenancy Act says that landlords shall comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises and there is a $3,000 fine for not doing so. We do not believe further regulations are necessary,” says le Grove.
“It is worth noting that it is local authorities who have been given full powers to administer the 1947 regulations and to keep them up to date but they cannot ensure that a tenant will use the adequate heating which has been provided. We think the bigger problem is that as the cost of power increases more tenants are reluctant to turn on heaters”.
The last survey undertaken by the NZPIF revealed that large numbers of members of affiliated property investors’ associations were insulating and heating their rentals. The NZPIF continues to support tax deductibility as a further encouragement to improve levels of insulation.
NZPIF members are supported in their objective to maintain warm, dry rental properties by three national firms. Heat pumps can be purchased from Toshiba at a very competitive price by those with NZPIF cards and Infracomfort NZ has arranged a special deal for infrared heating as another cost effective option for members who are landlords. Coupled with that, Unovent is providing members with favourably priced deals for affordable ventilation solutions for their rental properties.