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NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR LANDLORDS

December 2019

Complying with the Healthy Homes Standards

By Kate Brady. Kate is an Associate of our firm specialising in Property Law.

If you own rental properties, you will likely have heard that you are now subject to more stringent requirements as a landlord. We therefore thought it prudent to outline the new obligations imposed on landlords by the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 which came into effect on 1st July this year.

Whilst the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 imposed the requirement that landlords must maintain rental properties in a “reasonable state of repair and cleanliness” and the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 created minimum requirements when it comes to ensuring properties are warm, dry, safe and sanitary for the tenants occupying the property, the new Healthy Homes Standards set out much more specific requirements.

Insulation is now compulsory in rental properties

All rental properties must now have ceiling and underfloor insulation that meet the 2008 Building Code standards so long as it is reasonably practicable to install such insulation. Generally, for example, existing ceiling insulation that was installed before 1 July 2016 must be at least 120mm thick.

Heating rental properties

The main living room in all rental properties must be heated with a qualifying heater (that can heat the room to at least 18ºC). If the property has more than one living room, the “main living room” for the purposes of the legislation is the largest of them. 

The Healthy Homes Standards also impose minimum standards in relation to ventilation, drainage and draught stopping for all rental properties. 

Compliance obligations

As a landlord, you must ensure that your rental property complies with these new requirements within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy from 1st July 2021. All private rental properties generally must comply with all requirements by 1st July 2024.

However, as of 1st July 2019, all landlords must do the following:

  1. Include a signed statement that you will comply with the Healthy Homes Standards in all new or renewed tenancy agreements;
  2. Keep all relevant documents to prove your rental properties comply with the Healthy Homes Standards;
  3. Give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice to access your rental properties in order to comply with the Healthy Home Standards.

Conclusions

If you are a landlord and you have not done so already, we highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the new Healthy Homes Standards as soon as possible. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact a member of our Property Law team.