How practical is the proposed Healthy Homes Bill?

Andrew Bruce, of the Auckland Property Investors Association, thinks that Labour's proposed bill may be problematic. The proposed new rules around insulation and heating may sound like a good idea but are they practical?

A summary of the proposal can be found here:

Hopefully most landlords agree that tenants should have a safe and clean place to live, and legislation can go a long way to ensure that this is always the case, however the solution is not as simple as it seems. Yes, you can insulate your home, and yes, you can provide a heat pump, but are your tenants going to help keep their home healthy? For example, are they going to:

(i) open windows for 20-30 minutes per day to improve airflow?

(ii) use extractor fans when showering or cooking to remove excess steam?

(iii)  use the heat pump even though it adds to their power bill?

(iv) dry clothes outdoors?

(v) wipe down windowsills if water condenses and pools on the ledges?

These are just some of the issues that we discuss with all incoming tenants to emphasise the fact that they are also responsible for keeping their home dry and healthy.

We recommend that our owners, in addition to complying with current legislation around insulation, also think about ways to make it easy for tenants to keep their homes dry such as installing extractor fans and shower domes, and providing an outdoor drying area. These types of suggestions are provided in our annual preventative maintenance reports that are a part of any of our service packages.