On Friday 3rd December the Government announced planned changes to healthy Homes – see full details here
Changes are proposed on the following three categories
• Heating Standard
• Ventilation Standard
• Moisture ingress and drainage standard
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know
• These changes have not been passed into Law – this is not scheduled to happen until April 2022 (some five months away)
• Minor Adjustments are proposed to the heating calculation, however these changes will only impact dwellings built to the 2008 building code requirements for insulation and glazing, including properties renovated throughout to these standards and Apartments of at least three storey and 6 units or more.
• For buildings subject to the new heating formula, the 90 day compliance period will only start 6 months after the changes come into effect. For each tenancy the trigger date is when a new tenancy
• As an alternative to the heating formula/tool a specialist will be able to certify that the heating standard is met based on criteria including that the heating device or system used will heat to and maintain the living room at 18 ºC on the coldest day of the year.
• Heating tolerance is proposed to be relaxed to 80% as opposed to current 90% threshold
• Heating top-up is proposed to change to 2.4Kw as opposed to current 1.5Kw limit (qualifying heaters must still be installed before 1 July 2019)
• Geothermal heating will also now be compliant
• Updating the ventilation standard to allow continuous mechanical ventilation systems that continuously extract from kitchens and bathrooms, for homes that received building consent on or after 1 November 2019.
• Updating the moisture ingress and drainage standard to clarify that landlords are not required to install alternative moisture barriers where it is not reasonably practicable to install a polythene barrier.
What does best practice look like?
Firstly, in the absence of any information suggesting these changes will be retrospective when passed into law, they remain proposed changes, which means we can’t yet act on these new rules.
Properties that trigger the 90 day timer(new or renewed tenancy agreement) that haven’t yet been assessed should still undertake an assessment (using current rules) and supply a S13A statement – this is the current law as it stands now and there is no lawful way around this.
In due course we will automatically recalculate all properties that were subject to either Tolerance or Top-up (with new, proposed figures) and clients with material changes will get notified by ACSP to review their new report, there will be NO charge for this value-added service.
We have already specified the required changes in our reporting platform and when they become law we will activate those changes.
We will continue to provide insight and guidance on this subject
Please don’t hesitate to contact us here should you have any questions.