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Is a shower dome HHS friendly?

Thursday, May 23, 2019


This week's question comes from Matt (paraphrased):  

The HHS requires that there be an externally vented extractor fan to be placed in the bathroom. What if there is a shower dome in place so that condensation is not a problem? 
A shower dome does not qualify as an exemption for the HHS ventilation standards. You are still bound to install an externally ventilated extractor fan 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. 

Do you have any tenancy related questions? Write to us at admin@apia.org.nz or hit us up on our social channels here and here


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