Rental homes must have openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms must have extractor fans.
Mould and dampness caused by poor ventilation is harmful for tenants’ health as well as landlords’ property. The ventilation standard targets mould and dampness in rental homes.
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 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 the ventilation standard?
All habitable rooms in a rental property must have at least one window, door or skylight which opens to the outside and can be fixed in the open position.
In each room, the size of the openable windows, doors and skylights together must be at least 5% of the floor area of that room.
Each window door, window or skylight must be openable and must be able to remain fixed in an open position.
All kitchens and bathrooms must have an extractor fan vented to the outside.
- Kitchens – In any room with a cooktop, new fans or rangehoods installed after 1 July 2019 must have a minimum diameter (including ducting) of 150mm or an exhaust capacity of at least 50 litres per second.
- Bathrooms – In any room with a shower or bath, new fans installed after 1 July 2019 must have a minimum diameter (including ducting) of 120mm or an exhaust capacity of at least 25 litres per second.
Landlords should ask installers for the details of the fan diameters, ducting and flowrate in writing, so they can show they are compliant with the healthy homes ventilation standard.
Use our online tool to find out if you need to install new extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom of your rental property.
Our guidance document has more specific information on the ventilation standard.
If you have an existing fan
Fans put in before 1 July 2019 must ventilate to the outside of the house and be in good working order, but they don’t have to meet the requirements listed above.
When they stop working, they must be repaired to be in good working order or replaced with fans which do meet all the requirements.
There are two specific exemptions for the ventilation standard. The information here is an overview. More information on these exemptions is available in Subpart 4 of the Healthy Homes Standards Regulations.(external link)
- A room doesn’t need to meet the requirements for openable windows and external doors if it was lawful when it was built or converted into a habitable space. If having fewer windows or doors was only lawful because the room met alternative ventilation requirements, then the room must still meet those requirements to qualify for this exemption.
- This exemption applies to kitchens or bathrooms where it is not reasonably practicable to install an extractor fan. This exemption has a number of criteria which must all be met. We recommend landlords get professional advice and keep a copy of that advice to qualify for this exemption.
These two exemptions are in addition to the general exemptions.
The ventilation standard is one of five healthy homes standards. Find out about the other healthy homes standards: