Warm & Dry - The Future of Auckland Rental Properties
August 31, 2015 at 9:30 AM
You would have heard about the new legislation coming into play regarding insulation requirements for rental properties from 2016, but you may not have heard about Housing NZ’s new focus on warm/dry homes. These both indicate that the government is serious about raising the standard of warm and dry homes across the board.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett wrote a piece for the Beehive describing Housing NZ’s focus on warm and dry homes. This includes insulation installation, heaters, thermal drapes, carpet, mechanical ventilation (rangehoods, HRVs etc) and even heat pumps, all in Housing NZ homes once generally considered inferior. Housing NZ is focusing on upgrading and repairing with a view to have all warm, dry and healthy homes, and it is reported they will spend almost $300 million this year to achieve this goal. This begs the question – if a Housing NZ home has full insulation and a heat pump, what does this mean if your rental property doesn’t?
With the government focusing on warm and dry homes, so too should the average property owner stay ahead of the curve as the bar is raised across the board. It has always been a good idea to upgrade your rental home with heating and ventilation options but with the government behind it, the pressure may increase. And with the first question prospective tenants ask being “What’s the insulation like?” or “Is there a heating source?”, a savvy property owner will stay ahead of the pack, whether this means new home insulation, budgeting for a heat pump, double glazing the windows or even providing dehumidifiers for the tenants’ use.
The golden goose for tenants are homes with the ‘trifector’; insulation, a heat pump and an HRV system. Houses with these three things are considered superior - they consistently attract the best tenants at the best possible rental rate, and the tenants often stay longer.
Additionally, with Housing NZ homes reflecting the government’s frame of mind, we would not be surprised if the requirement in the Residential Tenancies Act for the landlord to “provide the premise in a reasonable state of cleanliness” and to “maintain the premise in a reasonable state of repair”, stretches to include a heat source or other under this umbrella banner. Although its tenants and how they use the home that cause moisture in the air, tenants have won many past tribunal cases related to ‘damp’ properties. As this topic moves more and more into the spotlight, ensuring your rental property meets the government standard is paramount.
Ask your property manager about what options may work for your property and budget. We’re happy to advise some options and average prices, arrange quotes, and we’re well versed in the requirements surrounding insulation discounts. Otherwise, always happy to chat more about the upcoming changes in the market, and what this means for you and your main investment.
Learn more about the changes here.