Healthy Homes Standard – What a Landlord Needs to Know

Why do we have the New Zealand Healthy Homes Standards?

Landlords are responsible for maintaining and improving the standards of their rental properties. The New Zealand Government introduced the Healthy Homes Standards to help ensure all rental properties are healthier and safer for New Zealand tenants.

Important Dates:

The Healthy Homes Standards become law on 1 July 2019.

From 1 December 2020 Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards.

All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024. All boarding houses must comply by 1 July 2021. All houses rented by Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and registered Community Housing Providers must comply by 1 July 2023.

Heating Standards:

There must be one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room to the World Health Organization’s recommended heat of 18°. Heater(s) must be fixed (not portable), and must be at least 1.5 kW in heating capacity and meet the minimum heating capacity needed for the main living room. This capacity can be calculated using the Heating Assessment Tool or the formula outlined in the regulations.

Further heating requirements, exemptions and tolerances can be found here.

Insulation Standards:

Ceiling and underfloor insulation has been compulsory in all rental homes since 1 July 2019. The healthy homes insulation standard builds on the current regulations and some existing insulation will need to be topped up or replaced.

Required levels of insulation and exemptions can be found here.

Ventilation Standards:

All habitable rooms in a rental property must have at least one window, door or skylight which opens to the outside and can be fixed in the open position. In each room, the size of the openable windows, doors and skylights together must be at least 5% of the floor area of that room. Each window door, window or skylight must be openable and must be able to remain fixed in an open position.

All kitchens and bathrooms must have an extractor fan vented to the outside.

  • Kitchens – In any room with a cooktop, new fans or rangehoods installed after 1 July 2019 must have a minimum diameter (including ducting) of 150mm or an exhaust capacity of at least 50 litres per second.
  • Bathrooms – In any room with a shower or bath, new fans installed after 1 July 2019 must have a minimum diameter (including ducting) of 120mm or an exhaust capacity of at least 25 litres per second.

Landlords should ask installers for the details of the fan diameters, ducting and flowrate in writing, so they can show they are compliant with the healthy homes ventilation standard.

For further details and exemptions visit here.

Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standards:

Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water. Rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must have a ground moisture barrier.

More details and exemptions can be found here.

Draught Stopping Standards:

Landlords must make sure the property doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts. All unused open fireplaces must be closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.

Further details and exemptions here.

In some circumstances there maybe general exemptions to the Healthy Homes Standards. These exemptions can be found here.

To find out if your rental property is compliant to the Healthy Homes standards, simply download our app and carry out a report yourself. You will recieve a fully documented report with photos and comments. If the property is not compliant, the report will contain the appropriate recommendations to reach compliance. You will also recieve a grading on the property that can be used for marketing purposes.