This week’s question comes from Matt (paraphrased):
in the bathroom even if there is a shower dome in place (unless, of course, your property qualifies for an exemption under the HHS). Shower domes are
great for slowing down the build-up of moisture from the shower but they do not extract the moisture from the bathroom. The intention of the HHS is
to ensure a mechanism to extract moisture from the entire bathroom, a shower dome falls short in this instance.
But hey, we understand the frustration felt by some landlords. Even if the extractor is installed, there is no guarantee that it will be turned on regularly
for the tenant and the property to enjoy its effects. Meanwhile, the landlord has incurred the expense to comply and likely have passed it on (or will
be passing it on) to the tenant by way or rent increase. That said, we do feel that the process taken to arrive at these standards has been largely
transparent and inclusive. The public was given the chance to engage at various levels as we had previously flagged to our members. This is the
end result we have all arrived at.
For the time being, these standards are not going to change. We feel that landlords would be better served to find ways to comply in a timely and commercially
sensible manner. Look at this as an opportunity to upgrade your properties, put the rent up and increase your ROI. Some banks and lenders are
offering agreeable finance terms for complying properties. Early compliance also gives your property a marketing advantage as well as making it more
attractive to long-term tenants.
As to any inherent irrationalities, perceived biases and operational impracticalities (and if we are are to speak honestly about the HHS, there are plenty),
our expectation is that some of it will be worked out one way or the other as the Standards are implemented in the next few years. If it transpires
that these Standards (or some parts) are glaringly inequitable for landlords then there would be more a reason to go back through the advocacy
channel of the NZPIF to lobby for change. So please keep talking to us and letting us know how
you are dealing with the HHS on the coalface. The more insights into issues that concern you, the more we can do to help.