The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill was a bill drafted by
Labour's Phil Tywford aimed at addressing the issue of cold,
damp rental accommodation in New Zealand.
It is estimated that only 5% of private rental houses in this
country have been insulated. Under this bill, Landlords would need
to ensure that their properties meet the minimum standards of
heating and insulation.
Part 1 of the bill proposes to amend the Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Act 2000. It is intended that the Energy Efficiency
and Conservation Authority will be responsible for setting these
standards. The EECA must describe what constitutes adequate methods
of heating, insulation, ventilation, drainage, draft stopping and
acceptable indoor temperatures, along with the methods of measuring
The second part of the bill proposes to amend the Residential
Tenancies Act 1996 by requiring every new tenancy agreement to
include a declaration that the house meets the minimum standards
prescribed by the EECA. For agreements already in existence,
Landlords will have 5 years from the date the new standards are
published by the EECA to comply.
Despite being described as sensible and pragmatic by the New
Zealand Property Investors Federation, Twyford's bill failed to
gain support from the Government and was consequently unsuccessful
at its first Select Committee reading in [March 2015]. The
Government's main criticism centred around the bill's
"unintended consequence or threat to housing supply. It
contends that, due to design restructure, a significant number of
houses will never be able to be insulated and will fail to meet the
standards. The flow on effect from that will be that rental housing
stock will decrease and rents will increase.
In October 2015 the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) 2015 was
drawn from the ballot at Parliament, attracting criticism from the
Speaker, Hon David Carter. He expressed concern that a bill so
similar in substance to one previously ousted be accepted for the
ballot in contradiction of Parliament's Standing Order 264.
However, it was acknowledged that as it has been drawn, the No 2
bill must now be dealt with. It remains to be seen whether this
version will make it into New Zealand law books.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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