The final healthy homes standards became law on 1st July 2019. They are available on the New Zealand Legislation website. The standards set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
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 Housing New Zealand and registered Community Housing Providers must comply by 1 July 2023.
Landlords are responsible for maintaining and improving the quality of their rental properties. These standards will help ensure landlords have healthier, safer properties and lower maintenance costs for their investments.
The standards will also make it easier for tenants to keep their homes warm and dry.
The new standards will make rental homes healthier for tenants:
- All rental homes will be required to have a heater that can heat the main living area to 18˚C.
- Rental homes must have ceiling and underfloor insulation that either meets the 2008 Building Code insulation standard, or (for existing ceiling insulation) has a minimum thickness of 120mm.
- Rental homes will also be drier under these changes as kitchens and bathrooms will have to have extraction fans or rangehoods.
- Where rental homes have an enclosed subfloor space, property owners will need to install a ground moisture barrier to stop moisture rising into the home
- The standards also reinforce existing law that says landlords must have adequate drainage and guttering to prevent water entering the home.
- Draughts that make a home harder to heat will have to be blocked.
The 2016 insulation requirements remain in force. From 1 July 2019, ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install.
Compliance timeline for the new standards:
- 1 July 2021 – From this date, private landlords must ensure that their rental properties comply with the healthy home standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.
- 1 July 2021 – All boarding houses must comply with the healthy home standards.
- 1 July 2023 – All Housing New Zealand houses and registered Community Housing Provider’s houses must comply with the healthy home standards.
- 1 July 2024 – All rental homes must comply with the healthy home standards.
For more information see the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website.
Or the Tenancy Services website : Tenancy Services
For more information please email Healthyhomes@hud.govt.nz