The healthy homes standards will make significant changes to the quality of New Zealand rental accommodation and bring with them long-term positive impacts for both tenants and landlords alike. Tenants will experience the benefits that come from living in a warmer, drier home and landlords can expect lower long term maintenance costs by raising the quality of their property.
The standards create specific and minimum requirements for all rental properties in respect of heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, moisture ingress and drainage. There is significant detail to each standard and what is required of all landlords both in respect of the rental property itself and reporting of this detail within any tenancy agreement. Learn more about each specific standard.
There must be one or more fixed heater(s) that can directly heat the main living room to at least 18°C. Certain heating devices that are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy will not meet the requirements of this standard.
Some existing insulation will need to be topped up or replaced. Depending on location, ceiling insulation needs to meet minimum R-values, or existing ceiling insulation needs to be at
least 120mm thick. Underfloor insulation needs a minimum R-value of 1.3.
There must be windows, skylights or doors that open to the outside in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. These must be able to be fixed in the open position and comprise at least five per cent of the room’s floor area. There must be extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms that vent to the outside.
There must be adequate drainage, guttering and downpipes. Rental properties that have an enclosed subfloor must have a ground moisture barrier (if it’s possible to install one).
Landlords must block any unreasonable gaps and holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors and doors that cause draughts. Open fireplaces must be blocked unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise.
Landlords must ensure they are aware of their requirements around each standard to prevent the risk of future penalties. At any stage, you can seek further details from your property manager
For more specific information on the healthy homes standards, their detail, the exemptions, and more, we recommend you request a copy of our free Landlord Information Guide below.