New Healthy Homes Standards for residential housing 

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act passed in December 2017. This allowed Parliament to set standards for warmer, drier and healthier rental homes.

After considering more than 1700 submissions from tenants, landlords and other interested parties, the Government has announced new minimum standards.

The healthy homes standards set requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, moisture ingress and drainage in rental properties. The standards are:
  • All rental homes must have a fixed heating device that can heat the main living area to at least 18°C.
  • Rental homes must have the right size extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. 
  • If a rental home has an enclosed subfloor space the property owner will need to install a ground moisture barrier to stop moisture rising into the home.
  • Rental homes must have adequate drainage and guttering to prevent water from getting inside.
  • Rental homes must have no unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. Any unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked.

The timing for meeting the standards depends on the type of tenancy that applies to the property:

Private landlord, residential tenancy: After 1 July 2021, the rental property will have to comply with the standards within 90 days of the renewal or start of a new tenancy. All rental homes must comply with the healthy home standards by 1 July 2024.

Boarding house tenancy: All boarding houses have to comply with the standards by 1 July 2021.

Tenancies under Housing New Zealand or registered Community Housing Providers: All of these rental properties have to comply with the standards by 1 July 2023.

More information is on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website.

Read about what landlords’ and tenants’ obligations are right now, and what your rights and obligations are if you live in a boarding house.
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