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  • New windows and HH compliance

    I recently had some window replacements done on one of my units. After having the Healthy Home assessment done, it turns out that the opening area of the double glazed units is just shy of the 5% threshold. I would have thought the window company that built and installed the units would have checked for this before installation.
    Who's to blame here? Should the window company have ensured the windows are compliant, or is it my fault for not knowing the building code and making the measurements?
    Thanks for any help in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by leapy99 View Post
    After having the Healthy Home assessment done, it turns out that the opening area of the double glazed units is just shy of the 5% threshold.
    Okay this is a worry - what is the threshold?

    More info needed on your unit. If the replacement windows were fitted exactly as the previous windows (but better quality) and the unit was built before HH guarantee act compliance requirements then you'd get a pass. This is an assumption until more information is provided.

    cheers,

    Donna

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    • #3
      According to the building code (which I now know) the openable area of windows in a room (living and bedrooms) must exceed 5% of the floor area of a room. As we moved from wood to double glazed aluminium windows it did not make sense to follow the same opening pattern so the openings ended up being reduced in size. Now the openable area is below 5% for two of the three rooms! This fails the new HH standards for rental properties and also does meet the building code.

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      • #4
        Thought it might be a good idea to put a link to the 'ventilation' section of the HH on the Gov't site.

        Umm looks like you'll need to replace the windows with a style that offers more ventilation leapy99. Thanks for sharing this info as I am sure it will be a lesson for all who are renovating right now - especially units. It's making me think about what I may need to do with the one property I have that has wooden windows.

        Maybe you can sell the windows you have on TradeMe or back to the provider so you cut down on the extra expense. Let us know how you get on.

        cheers,

        Donna
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        • #5
          What does the HH assessment stating non compliance, however minuscule, mean in practice.

          Will property mangers decline a management contract if the owner does not intend to remedy the minuscule non compliance? They should, shouldn't they?

          Will the rental have to be removed from the rental pool on the effective date because of a noncompliance. (Did I mention minuscule?) It should, shouldn't it?

          It is potentially quite ridiculous.

          My suggestion - put questions to the government, preferably a lot of specific questions and publicly via the fyi.org.nz site. Along the lines of leapy99's post above, asking for clarification if a rental will have to be removed from the rental pool either now if there is no intention to remedy a minor non compliance, or later if the rental remains non compliant. Or if the rental can continue to be rented out provided the landlord pays the (up to) $4000 or $8000 fine.

          Perhaps there could be a thread on Propertytalk linking to relevant official information requests and their responses. keeping them in one place. And passing the thread link along to interested parties. Like journalists, opposition MPs, big Facebook landlord groups.
          Last edited by artemis; 12-12-2020, 10:52 AM.

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          • #6
            Yes this is definitely something to watch out for with replacing windows if the openings are not identical to the original ones.

            I finally just spoke with the right guy at the window company and they don't currently check that their replacement windows meet the 5% minimum which is in the building code. I think they will be changing that in the future mind you.

            I also found that they can replace some of the non-openable panes with openable ones, which they will do at cost - the minimum I would expect. So we don't need to replace the whole window which is a relief.

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            • #7
              Phew! What a relief.

              cheers

              Donna umm it’s not too early for Christmas emoticons is it?
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              • #8
                be careful people there is an exemption;
                1. A room doesn’t need to meet the requirements for openable windows and external doors if it was lawful when it was built or converted into a habitable space. If having fewer windows or doors was only lawful because the room met alternative ventilation requirements, then the room must still meet those requirements to qualify for this exemption.
                the building act also says if it didnt comply before then it must comply to the same extent after the work,

                In this case the window manuafacturer may be responsible?

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