HEALTHY HOMES STANDARD

The healthy homes standard set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage and draught stopping in rental properties. The healthy homes standard became law on the 1st of July 2019. 

Compliance timeline for the new standards:

1st July 2021:
All private landlords must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1st July 2021. All tenancy agreements will need to include the signed statement that the landlord will comply with the new regulations and note specific information on how they plan to follow. All boarding houses must comply by 1st July 2021.
1st July 2023: All Housing New Zealand and registered community Housing providers must comply with the healthy homes standard. 
1st July 2024: All rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standard.

Healthy homes standard breakdown:

The healthy home standards combine five aspects of a property, which all present a warm dry home. 
These are: Heating, Insulation, Ventilation, Moisture and Drainage and Draught stopping.

Heating

Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. 

  • The 'main living room' can also cover a lounge, dining room or an open plan living area.
  • Must be capable of warming the room to at least 18 degrees.  
  • The heater must be fixed (not portable).
  • Some heaters are considered inefficient or unaffordable to operate and won't meet the requirements e.g: open fire, LPG bottle heaters or electric heaters (not heat pumps) with a heating capacity of 2.4 kilowatts. 

Use the heating tool developed by tenancy services to help identify what capacity heater is required for your rental property: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/heating-tool/

The device will meet the standard if the landlord installed a heater before the 1st of July 2019, as long as the heating capacity is within 10% of the kilowatts required. 

Insulation

Ceiling and underfloor insulation has been compulsory in all rental homes since 1st July 2019. Insulation stops heat from escaping which means that a better-insulated home will retain more heat. This also means that it will usually cost less to heat the property, less prone to mold and the property will be drier. 

  • After 1st July 2021 the Healthy Homes Standard will increase the minimum insulation requirement from 70mm to 120mm thick.
  • Existing insulation that was installed before 1 July 2016 must be at least 120mm thick.
  • If the property has an inaccessible roof or concrete pad, an exemption will continue to apply. 

Ventilation

  • All rental properties must have openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms must have right size extractor fans installed. 
  • An appropriate size extractor fan must be installed in all bathrooms or kitchens. 
  • An extractor fan needs to ventilate externally.
  • A range hood in the kitchen can be suitable if it ventilates to the outside.

 Moisture and Drainage

  • Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water.
  • The drainage system must include gutters, downpipes and drains for the removal of the water from the roof. 
  • If a rental home has an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier if it's practicable to install one. 

 Draught Stopping 

Rental properties must have no unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors and doors that cause noticeable draught. 

  • All open fireplaces and chimneys must be blocked unless a landlord and tenant agree otherwise. 

Fixing draughts is an easy way to reduce heating bills and keeping rental homes warm and dry.


It is important to comply with the Healthy Homes Standard to ensure the quality of rental homes. Warmer and drier homes are less likely to have issues with mould or mildew damage, which will protect a landlords investment.