The healthy homes standards became law on 1 July 2019.
The healthy homes standards introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress 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 Kāinga Ora (formerly 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.
This section explains what you need to do to ensure your rental property complies with the healthy homes standards including:
- Details of the standards
- Information on exemptions
- Information on compliance timeframes
- Additions to tenancy agreements
- Information on record keeping
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Why is this important?
Nearly 600,000 households rent in New Zealand, and New Zealand based research tells us that our rental stock is poorer quality than owner occupied homes. Research shows a link between cold, damp and mouldy homes and negative health outcomes, particularly for illnesses such as asthma and cardiovascular conditions.
By improving the quality of rental homes, New Zealanders who rent will experience improved health, as well as lower medical costs and lower levels of hospitalisations. Warmer and drier homes are also less likely to have issues with mould or mildew damage, better protecting a landlord’s investment.
Case study: Planning to comply with the healthy homes standards
Judy owns a house in Nelson that she rents and manages herself. Over the past year, Judy installed new ceiling and underfloor insulation to meet the standards for climate zone three before the 1 July 2019 deadline. She saved receipts of the work and photos showing where the insulation was installed.
Zone 1 — ceiling R 2.9, underfloor R 1.3
Zone 2 — ceiling R 2.9, underfloor R 1.3
Zone 3 — ceiling R 3.3, underfloor R 1.3
Judy has a new tenant moving in on 1 September 2019. She includes a statement in the new tenancy agreement about the type, location and condition of the insulation, and combines this with a statement that she will comply with all the healthy homes standards. She signs this combined statement, in addition to signing the new tenancy agreement. Judy wants to be ready for the 1 July 2021 deadline, as it is likely she will have a new or renewed tenancy shortly after that date, so she makes a plan to tackle the work to meet all the healthy homes standards by that date.
In September 2020, Judy’s tenant wants to renew the yearly lease. When Judy draws up the renewed tenancy agreement, she references the work completed to meet the healthy homes standards to date and includes all the required information. Judy has kept receipts as proof of the installation of a new extractor fan that was installed into the bathroom for ventilation, and of a heat pump that was installed into the living room. She also includes a print out of the results from the online heating assessment tool that she used to calculate the room’s required heating capacity.
In September 2021, Judy has a new tenant moving into her rental property, which now meets all the healthy homes standards. In this new tenancy agreement, Judy records all the work that has been done to meet the healthy homes standards. She continues to keep records of past work and any future work done as ongoing maintenance on the house.