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Deadlines and news from the week

Posted 21/6/2019

Hi everyone.

Welcome to another update from Rental Coach. In this edition we remind you about the 7th of July deadline, the insulation deadline, and a few interesting news articles from the last month.

We hope you enjoy reading it!

The 7th of July deadline

If you have a rental property, then you need to file a tax return each year to tell Inland Revenue about the money you have made (or lost) from the property.

Each tax return covers a tax year - usually the 1st of April to 31st of March. So, the 2019 tax return covers 1st of April 2018 through to the 31st of March 2019.

This has a due date to be filed - the 7th of July 2019 - only 2 weeks away!

Still a bit stuck about what should go on your tax return? Check out the Rental Coach course. The full edition has a full walk-through of filing a tax return with Inland Revenue.

If you need more time, you can ring Inland Revenue to get an extension. Otherwise, you may end up with a Late Filing Penalty.

Note: If you are linked with a tax agent, then you will probably have an extension until the 31st of March 2020 to get your accountant to file your tax return.


Insulation time!

It sure has got a lot colder over the last week! Hopefully you have the heater on and keeping warm.

For any rental property, the deadline is looming to get insulation installed. The deadline is the 1st of July 2019 where all rental properties have to have insulation installed to a certain minimum standard in the roof and under-floor where it can be practicable be installed. To read more about the requirements, have a look at the Tenancy Services website here.

There have also been some media reports that Tenancy Services won't give any leniency to any landlords if they do not have the proper insulation installed if they receive a tenant complaint. There are some areas of New Zealand where insulation installers have been struggling with the demand to get all the required rental properties completed in time.

If you have a rental property without the proper insulation, this weekend might be the perfect time to go to Bunnings or Mitre10 and install some insulation before the deadline!


New 'Healthy Homes Standards' come into effect

From the 1st of July 2019, any new residential tenancies will need to use a new Residential Tenancy Agreement form that has a 'Healthy Homes' Statement about how the property complies with the new Healthy Homes Standards.

From the 1st of July 2021, any new tenancies must have the following (from the Tenancy Services website):

The Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) are:

  • Heating - The main living room must have one or more fixed qualifying heaters, which provide at least the required heating capacity to heat the main living room to at least 18°C and be capable of maintaining this temperature during the coldest days of winter. The new regulations clarify the requirements for heating devices – some will not meet the requirements under the heating standard as they are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy.
    A heating assessment tool will be provided in July 2019, which will assist with determining the heating capacity required for the main living room at rental premises, including a boarding house. When used correctly this tool will confirm if existing heating devices will meet the standard or what heating options will meet the heating standard if installed. Landlords will be encouraged to seek professional assistance when required.
  • Insulation – Rental homes must have ceiling and underfloor insulation which either meets the 2008 Building Code, or (for existing ceiling insulation) is at least 120mm thick.
  • Ventilation – Rental homes must have the right size extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.
  • Moisture and drainage – Rental homes must have efficient drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If a rental home has an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier if it’s possible to install one.
  • Draught-stopping – Rental homes must have no unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. All unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked.

What is interesting is that there are specific heating sources that are going to be disallowed. These are open fireplaces, unflued gas heaters, and if more than a 2.4kw electric heater is required to heat a room (for example, using 2 x 2 Kw heaters in one room).

To be an allowed heating source, it must be a source of heating such as a fireplace (wood or flued gas), or electric heating of more than 1.5kw, which would be a heatpump or electric heater with a themostat.

To read the actual requirements in the legislation, you can read them here.

So, if you have a rental property, you have a few years to look at what heating you need to supply to every living room in your rental property. This may require installing a heat pump or fireplace. However, supplying a thermostat electric heater may be enough to heat the house to the required level.


In the News

The news over the last few weeks:

  • A landlord was ordered to pay $178,000 for not lodging tenancy bonds with the tenancy tribunal. You can read it here. If you collect a bond from a tenant, you have 23 working days to pay it on.
  • For some fun - there is this article on OneRoof about a Real estate listing going viral (it looks interesting on the inside!).
  • The TV show 'The Block' is back and converting a fire station. Here is an article about what the apartments they are building could be worth.
  • If you demolish some houses and setup a car park, then get the proper resource consent first.
  • And this new concept building being setup which is a 22 bedroom facility with shared facilities (but still charging $360 per room per week).