Brand new houses fail the Healthy Homes Standards? What hope do we have!

By now, we’re sure you are very aware of the Healthy Homes Standards. To quickly recap, they are a series of regulations that have introduced specific and minimum standards for rental properties around heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stoppage, and moisture ingress and drainage. The thing about ‘minimum standards’ is that it’s exactly that — the minimum standard. Short term solutions are enough to tick the boxes for Healthy Homes, but at Copo, our aim is to ensure the best possible living environment for our tenants and a return on investment for property owners. So… how do we go about this?

Has Your Property Failed The Healthy Homes Standard?

The vast majority of properties that we have taken on to manage this year have failed the Healthy Homes Inspection — even brand new properties are failing.  Sometimes it’s a case of the builder not finishing a job correctly or it’s just a heat pump that isn’t the right size. Whatever the reasons, once we have a list of what needs to be done, it can all be remedied fast. We use EnergySmart as a third party inspection company to carry out the Health Homes report, so both the property owners and tenants get a certified independent third party to confirm what’s compliant and offer solutions to remedy what’s not. 

There are often multiple solutions when something is non compliant — for example, in the case of the inadequately sized heat pump, the installation of a second heater to top up the heating kilowatts works if the existing heat pump was installed prior to the law changing. Or you may end up having to put in a bigger heat pump unit from scratch. We always look for the solutions that will best benefit the house over the long turn. This in turn benefits the tenants and property owners — it’s all about future proofing the property to the highest standard possible. 

How Do We Know If Our Home Is Up To standards?

When it comes to ticking boxes for the Healthy Homes Standards, there are two different approaches that can be taken: short term vs long term. What approach is best when draught proofing a home? The answer? Always do more than is necessary. Wooden windows can swell and warp over time; the hinges on wooden windows can also get rusty and move. Yes, you can seal a gap with some weather strip foam — however, any gaps can be hugely minimised by refitting new hinges so windows close smoothly and close flush.  Of course, the refitting hinges take more time and money, but the quick fix, foam option may need to be replaced every 6-12 months. It seems like a simple decision doesn’t it? — do the job once, do it properly as your house will be the better for it. It’s important to look ahead when working on your investment strategy; success often starts by making sure decisions around maintenance are best for the long term. 

Future Proof Your Asset

The Healthy Homes standards are about more than just ensuring the bathroom has enough ventilation or that the heat pump is the right size — it’s about creating the best possible living environment within your property to future proof its desirability to tenants and your return on investment. 

At Copo, property owners are our business partners. We work together to look after the tenants in our properties as they are our mutual customers.

Call us for a chat — let’s talk about creating a long term maintenance plan for your investment property.