Healthy Homes NZ Standards for Rentals
The Healthy Homes Standards apply now to New Zealand's 600,000 rental properties aiming to make them warmer, drier and healthier.
Healthy Homes Standards for NZ Rentals - What you need to know
The Healthy Homes Standards aim to improve the health and warmth of the nations 600,000 rental properties by creating minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, moisture ingress and drainage.
The 'Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019' are now in force with Healthy Homes Compliance Statements required in all new or varied tenancy agreements from 1 December 2020.
Smart Energy Solutions can help get your properties compliant with free quotes for heating, insulation, ground moisture barrier and ventilation or inspection reports to check if your property is up to standard.
Healthy Homes Standards - Deadlines
- From 1 July 2019: New/varied Tenancy Agreements to include declaration of intention to comply with the 5 Healthy Homes Standards.
- From 1 December 2020: New/varied Tenancy Agreements must include information on current levels of the 5 Healthy Homes Standards.
- From 1 July 2021: New/varied Tenancy Agreements must comply with all the new Standards within 90 days.
- By 1 July 2024: ALL rental properties must be compliant with the 5 Healthy Homes Standards.
Healthy Homes Standards for Rentals
We can help make your rentals compliant with the new Healthy Homes Standards as well as warmer, drier and healthier for your tenants. Leave your contact details here and one of our friendly team will be in touch to help. We'll coordinate with your tenants and ensure your products are installed safely and your rental investment is protected.
Hate filling in forms? Call us direct 0800 888 766
We answer 24 hours, 7 days a week so call us anytime.
An efficient fixed heating device that is capable of warming the living room to 18°C on the coldest day of winter is the new rental Standard.
An online tool has been developed to help landlords and tenants calculate the heating requirement.
In most rentals it will be a large source such as a heat pump or wood burner will be required. For very small living rooms and apartments a small fixed electric heater may be sufficient.
Inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy heaters like unflued gas heaters, open fires, electric heaters* with a heating capacity of greater than 2.4kW or multiple electric heaters* can still be used but will not be accepted as meeting the Standard.
* refers to electric heaters that are not heat pumps.
The only extra requirement is for rentals with 70-120mm of ceiling insulation that required no work under the 2016 regulations. Under the Standards they too must meet the 2008 Building Code from 2021.
The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation under the Standard must either:
a) meet the 2008 Building Code, or
b) for existing ceiling insulation have a minimum thickness of 120mm and be in reasonable condition.
Properties that have added (or already need to add) insulation to meet the 2016 regulations are not affected by the change to the Standard since they must still meet the required level of insulation.
Remember foil underfloor insulation that is damaged, torn or dusty, must be replaced with insulation as it is illegal to repair or install it.
The deadline for mandatory insulation in all rentals did not change. Since 1 July 2019 all rentals must be insulated.
The Healthy Homes Standards focuses on the ability to naturally ventilate the home and for extractors to be fitted in high moisture areas (kitchens & bathrooms).
There must be windows that can be opened in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.
Kitchen & bathrooms are the largest sources of moisture in the home and so externally ventened extractor fan(s) are included in the Standard.
Ducted ventilation systems are not required under the Standard. They do however provide an additional safeguard from damage to the property due to moisture.
Drainage & Moisture Ingress Standard
The Healthy Homes Standards require rental properties to have an effective drainage system (gutters, downpipes and drains) that adequately drains away stormwater, surface water and ground water.
Ground moisture barrier is also required in rentals with an enclosed subfloor along 50% or more of the perimeter.
Ground moisture barrier are sheets of polythene at least 0.25 mm thick. It is lain over the ground under a house to prevent damp and damage to the home from rising damp. Moisture barrier is required even if there are existing subfloor vents.
Smart Energy Solutions has years experience installing ground moisture barrier which is most economically installed at the same time as underfloor insulation.
Draught Stopping Standard
Any gaps or holes that cause noticeable draughts must be 'stopped". This includes gaps/holes in and around windows, doors, walls, ceilings, floors and unused chimneys and fireplaces.
Stopping draughts is a relatively low cost measure and the government has indicated that gaps greater than 3mm that let air into or out of the home will require sealing.
More reading on finance options and heat pumps
This information is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. For the latest information you can read the full details at the Tenancy Services website.