Landlords and tenants should both understand these dates for complying with the healthy homes standards.
- Ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install.
- Landlords must sign a statement of intent to comply with the healthy homes standards in any new, varied* or renewed tenancy agreement.
- This statement is in addition to the existing requirement to include a signed insulation statement with all tenancy agreements that covers what insulation the property has, where it is, and what type.
- Landlords must keep records that demonstrate compliance with any healthy homes standards that apply or will apply during the tenancy.
From 1 December 2020
- Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards in most new or renewed tenancy agreements.
From 1 July 2021
- Private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new, or renewed, tenancy.
- All boarding houses (except Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and Community Housing Provider boarding house tenancies) must comply with the healthy homes standards.
From 1 July 2023
- All Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) houses and registered Community Housing Provider houses must comply with the healthy homes standards.
From 1 July 2024
- All rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standards.
Landlords that don’t meet their obligations under the healthy homes standards are in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. They may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $7,200.
What is a ‘variation’ to a tenancy agreement?
A variation is a change to the tenancy agreement that both parties agree to. This change must be in writing and signed by both the landlord and tenant(s) and state what date it takes effect from. It can be written in the tenancy agreement or on a separate document that is then attached to the tenancy agreement. The landlord must give the tenant(s) a copy of this written variation. A rent increase notice does not require a written variation or tenant signature, as this can be issued without the tenant’s prior agreement (as long as the notice complies with all legal requirements). In some situations, the tenant and landlord may agree to increase the rent due to changes that benefit the tenant, for example, substantial improvements to the premises. In these cases, the increase in rent would be a variation and must meet the above requirements.