Health starts in the home. It is where you rest, recuperate and sustain your life. What’s more, we have deep attachments to our homes. They are safe spaces where we can ideally live healthily and freely, however we want – and renting a home involves those same principles.
Owning or living in a rental property
You want your home to be warm, dry, and quiet. If it isn’t a healthy home, then your rental will be linked to health risks – including respiratory illnesses, diseases like rheumatic fever, and increased incidences of mental health issues. We know that New Zealand homes can suffer particularly – after all, we have cold, wet winters, with rental stock across the country that lack healthy air solutions.
When you own a rental property, you have a legal and moral duty to provide safe and warm housing. It’s simply part of the job of being a landlord. With the new regulation, the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act (No 2), the government has set out a responsibility that rental homes need to meet a minimum standard of heating and insulation. These standards will apply to all new tenancy agreements on July 1, 2019.
If this affects you, read how you can use daylighting and ventilation products to help your rentals meet the new regulation standards below.
A crucial part of the act is a guaranteed commitment by landlords to have a dry home. This means a house that doesn’t suffer from excessive dampness and has the ability to dry out. Dry air in the home is healthy air; dry air is also energy-efficient air, as it takes less energy to heat up.
When looking at ventilation systems for your home, consider going room by room, and assessing the dampness, or potential for dampness. A whole-house system is a great place to start – but particular rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, laundry and attic have their own requirements.
Healthy air begins by cleaning and drying the air, removing moisture and particles like dust and other allergens. Good solutions for this include total energy recovery systems. The key benefit of a full ventilation system is its ability to remove moisture from the entire house, instead of just targeted areas.
As a rental-property owner, you will be aware of the need to extract a return on your property – and a ventilation extraction system costs money. But as an owner, you also save money in the long term, as issues like rot and mould could otherwise cause irreversible damage to the walls and structure of the home.
A unique challenge to New Zealand homes is the issue of our geography impacting the daylight hours a home gets. While some cities are blessed with the virtue of flat terrain, like Christchurch, most of our cities are built on hilly geography. The issue of daylight hours is exacerbated to the extreme in some cities. For example, there are homes through Wellington that will receive no light at all through the darkest winter months, simply by virtue of the geography (we are unfortunately looking at you, Aro Valley).
While daylighting isn’t outlined in the act, daylight can play an important role in keeping homes healthy, and is worth considering as an equal investment when upgrading your rental. Instead of being constrained in your home by the available light through ill-placed windows, daylighting solutions like Solatube can bring in much-needed natural light to the property, brightening the space.
Considering adding ventilation systems or daylighting?
Talk to Hometech. We have the knowledge and products to offer tailored ventilation and daylighting solutions for your home, keeping it healthy.
As a rental-property owner, from July 1, 2019, your property will be required to meet a minimum set requirement for heating and insulation. Ventilation is a crucial part of an energy-efficient heating system, and works to keep your home dry. See Hometech’s products online today, or get in touch for a free consultation and quote.
Healthy Homes, Rentals, And You – Preparing Your Rental Property
Written on 13/12/18