Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill

  • defeated on 18 March 2015

Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill

Member’s Bill

164—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

This is an omnibus Bill. It amends 2 Acts with the purpose of ensuring that every rental home in New Zealand meets minimum standards of heating and insulation. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is to set the standards and landlords are to meet the standards.

Landlords already have obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 with respect to the properties they let out. However, there is no guidance about the specific standards they must meet to ensure warm and dry accommodation.

This Bill amends the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 to require the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to set minimum standards for heating and insulation in rental properties by 1 April 2014.

The Bill also amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to require all landlords to meet the standards.

The requirement to meet the standards will apply to all tenancy agreements made after the standards are published. The natural process of tenant turnover will see most tenancy agreements containing the requirement by the end of 5 years. At that point, all residential tenancies must meet the standards.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 is the commencement clause.

Part 1Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

Clause 3 provides that this Bill amends the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 (the principal Act).

Clause 4 amends section 21, which states the functions of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. The amendment adds the function of preparing and publishing minimum standards of heating and insulation for residential premises. Residential premises are the premises covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

Part 2Residential Tenancies Act 1986

Clause 5 provides that this Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the principal Act).

Clause 6 amends section 13A, which prescribes the contents of tenancy agreements. The amendment adds the requirement for agreements to include a statement that the premises meet, at a minimum, the standards published by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Clause 7 amends section 45 to create a requirement for all homes to meet warmth standards after 5 years.

Clause 8 makes consequential amendments to Schedule 1A.

1 Title

This Act is the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2013.

2 Commencement

(1)

Section 7 comes into force on the date that is 5 years after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent.

(2)

The rest of this Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Part 1 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

3 Principal Act

This Part amends the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 (the principal Act).

4 Section 21 amended (Functions)

After section 21(1), insert:

(1A)

The Authority also has the function of preparing and publishing minimum standards of heating and insulation for residential premises, in accordance with the following:

(a)

the standards must describe what constitutes adequate—

(i)

methods of heating; and

(ii)

methods of insulation; and

(iii)

indoor temperatures; and

(iv)

ventilation; and

(v)

draft stopping; and

(vi)

drainage; and

(b)

the standards must describe what constitutes acceptable methods of measuring the adequacy of the matters referred to in paragraph (a); and

(c)

residential premises has the meaning given in the Residential Tenancies Act 1986; and

(d)

the standards must be published on the Authority’s website as soon as practicable and no later than 1 April 2014.

Part 2 Residential Tenancies Act 1986

5 Principal Act

This Part amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the principal Act).

6 Section 13A amended (Contents of tenancy agreement)

After section 13A(1), insert:

(1A)

Every tenancy agreement must also include a statement that the premises meet, at a minimum, the standards published on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s website under section 21(1A) of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000.

(1B)

Subsection (1A) applies to the following tenancy agreements:

(a)

an agreement made 7 days after the Authority publishes the standards on the website:

(b)

an agreement in existence on the day that is 5 years after the date on which the Authority publishes the standards on the website:

(c)

an agreement made after the day that is 5 years after the date on which the Authority publishes the standards on the website.

(1C)

Failure by the landlord to comply with subsection (1A) or to breach the guarantee in it is declared to be an unlawful act.

7 Section 45 amended (Landlord’s responsibilities)

(1)

After section 45(1)(ca), insert:

(cb)

comply with the standards of heating and insulation under section 21(1A) of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000; and

(2)

Replace section 45(1A) with:

(1A)

Failure by the landlord to comply with any of paragraphs (a) to (cb) of subsection (1) is declared to be an unlawful act.

8 Schedule 1A amended

(1)

In Schedule 1A, after “12 (Unlawful discrimination) 4,000”, insert “13A Failure to comply with healthy homes guarantee 3,000”.

(2)

In Schedule 1A, replace “45(1A) (Landlord’s failure to meet obligations in respect of cleanliness, maintenance, or building, or health and safety requirments) 3,000”, with “45(1A) (Landlord’s failure to meet obligations in respect of cleanliness, maintenance, or building, or health and safety requirements, or standards of heating and insulation) 3,000”.