The healthy homes standards are in full effect – but do you know them as well as you think?
Many of you will be well aware that the standards became law at the start of July. The team at Lodge Rentals are well on top of this, and are working towards the new standards.
But as we deal closely with landlords and property owners, it has become increasingly apparent that the healthy homes standards are still a grey area for some.
Speaking with a client the other day, they were unaware of the work required just to meet the heating standards alone.
So what exactly are the healthy homes standards, and how is Lodge helping our landlord clients?
The right kind of heating
Yes, homes need to be warm. But unfortunately, you can’t equip homes with any heating solution – it needs to be the right kind of heating. Homes must be fixed with at least one heater that can directly heat the main living room to at least 18 degrees Celsius.
Living rooms are normally used as the main area for families, and are generally the largest room in the household, so it makes sense to ensure this is the most well heated area. Heat pumps, wood burners, pellet burners or flued gas heaters are all great solutions for proper heating units in homes.
Open fires, portable gas heaters, and heat pumps with no thermostat aren’t going to meet the new standard, so make sure your heating units meet these standards.
Insulation and ventilation for a warmer, drier home
We have been working hard over the last three years to ensure insulation standards have been met by the 1 July 2019 deadline, as per the original legislation from 2016. As some of you may already know, the healthy homes standards include new requirements for insulation.
If you’ve installed new insulation since 2016, you’ll likely meet the healthy homes standard. It’s always good to double check this though, so just make sure the insulation is still in reasonable condition, and that any underfloor and ceiling insulation meets the minimum R-values (‘R’ meaning the level of how well the insulation resists heat flow). A ground vapor barrier also needs to installed if the underfloor cavity is enclosed and poorly ventilated.
When it comes to ventilation, homes must have windows you can open in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. An extractor fan must also be fitted in the bathroom and kitchen to help mitigate added moisture in those areas.
Combating moisture through drainage and draughts
Downpipes, gutters and drains outside can all contribute to dampness inside. This is where effective drainage comes in. All rental properties must have sufficient drainage to remove water during rainy, wet weather to alleviate moisture build-up in doors.
As for draughts, any unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors need to be fixed up. This helps keep the warm air in and cool air out.
Warmer homes = happier tenants
Having long-term tenants is good for business. From a customer-centric point of view, it makes sense to offer a service or product that meets customer needs.
People want, and deserve, to live in a home that’s warm, dry and healthy. The healthy homes standards help keep occupants happy which, in turn, leads to long-term profits.
Let the team at Lodge City Rentals help
Getting homes up to standard can be a tricky, and sometimes complicated, task. But don’t think you have to do it alone! The team at Lodge are fully qualified and equipped to help take care of this for you. Give us a call and we’ll get it sorted – we’re always here to help.
Until next time!