Did you know that the Housing Improvement Regulations Act 1947 states that: ‘Every living room must be fitted with a fireplace and chimney or other approved form of heating?’
This has been overlooked by many landlords and the Tenancy Tribunal is awarding compensation and exemplary damages to tenants who complain that they do not have a heat source in the living room.
Some councils may provide information on approved forms of heating. If they do not, the Tenancy Tribunal may consider that an inexpensive plug-in heater (or similar) is enough, however this won’t meet the new healthy homes standards. A power point in
the living room is not sufficient.
Landlords that do not currently provide any form of heating in the living room should plan to meet the heating standard first, and with some urgency or risk being taken to the tenancy tribunal.
The heating standard is also the healthy homes standard that is most likely to matter to tenants. Therefore, by providing tenants with an efficient way of heating their home, landlords will attract and keep the best and more discerning tenants which desire a warm, dry, healthy home for their family.
This article is featured in Harcourts Property Management Focus, Issue 2 2021.