Property Managers to be regulated, meth testing changes, and Healthy Homes extensions announced.

Hannah Williams

New Zealand Housing Minister, Dr Megan Woods has announced a plethora of new measures that will strive to improve the lives of renters and landlords. 

Woods noted that with close to 600,000 households renting nationally in New Zealand, these measures were long overdue. We can expect to see the regulation of residential property management, a clear science-based approach to dealing with methamphetamine in residential rental properties and will see an extension for landlords struggling to meet the Healthy Homes compliance deadlines.   

Residential property management regulations

Government initiatives are underway to regulate the property management sector in New Zealand. Residential property managers will need to be registered, trained and licensed and tenants can rest easy knowing that disciplinary matters will be dealt with through a new regulatory framework. 

These efforts complement the work done by the government to provide tenants with a degree of protection through the Residential Tenancies Act and will also safeguard the interests of landlords moving forward.

These measures will make it increasingly difficult for property managers to get away with poor behaviour and bad practice which can often become apparent within tight rental markets. The Real Estate Authority (REA)  will be the designated regulator and the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal will be expanded to handle all residential property management-related complaints. 

360 Property Management is on the front foot and are proud to be making active efforts to ensure all of our staff who are managing your rental properties comply with the new requirements in advance of the regulation coming into effect. 

Managing methamphetamine contamination in rental properties

The Government is moving to consult the public before deciding on the new rules regarding methamphetamine levels in residential rental properties. This will provide a degree of certainty around what is an acceptable maximum level of methamphetamine residue, at what level these contaminated homes must be decontaminated, and at what point can these affected residential tenancies be terminated as a result of the high levels of methamphetamine residue. 

Based on the Gluckman report, landlords only need to conduct meth testing on their rental property if the police have advised that the property was used in the manufacturing process of methamphetamine, or if you have good reason to believe there has been heavy use in the property.

At current, New Zealand uses two differing levels – neither of which is legally binding. This creates confusion among both landlords and tenants. 

The proposals will be presented to the public and are backed by scientific evidence about the screening, testing and decontamination processes. The proposals set out clear obligations for landlords in dealing with Methamphetamine contamination in rental homes. 

Once the announcement has been made and these regulations are confirmed, landlords will not be able to knowingly rent out properties that are contaminated above the prescribed levels without firstly decontaminating the home in accordance with the regulations. Failure to comply could result in a financial penalty of up to $4,000. 

Feedback on the proposals is welcomed until 5 pm, Friday, February 20, 2023. Click here for more information. 

Extensions granted to the Healthy Homes Standards compliance timeframes

Landlords, Kāinga Ora, and Community Housing Providers have been granted more time to meet the compliance deadlines for Healthy Homes Standards. The extension comes as a result of COVID-19 supply chain issues that have stunted compliance. 

Landlords now have one more year to comply – meaning all private rentals must be Healthy Homes Standards compliant by 1 July 2025. The compliance timeframes for new or renewed tenancy agreements has also been extended from 90 days to 120 days (as of 26 November 2022).

The Healthy Homes standards set out specific and minimum standards that rental homes must comply with. The Healthy Homes Standards set out measures for heating, ventilation and moisture ingress and drainage requirements. Click here to read more about the Healthy Homes Standards.

Healthy Homes Standards NZ

If you’re unsure if your rental property is up to the Healthy Homes Standards please get in touch with us here. Our team are expert in all things property management and are always happy to help.