The new healthy homes standards set out a baseline in a few key areas. That’s good news for you - by the end of the next ﬁve years every rental property in the country will be up to a minimum standard. Some rental properties will need to meet the minimum standard sooner than others.
What you can expect in your rental?
A ﬁxed source of heating that can warm your main living room to 18°C year round.
Ceiling and underfloor insulation has already been required since July 2019. The new standard is about making sure it meets new requirements and is in reasonable condition.
Bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens in your rental should have an openable window or door that can be fixed open to the outside. Kitchens and bathrooms should have an extractor fan to remove moisture.
Moisture and drainage
Your guttering and drainage should be up for the job and if you have an enclosed subﬂoor (that’s the bit below the house if it doesn’t sit directly on the ground) it’ll need to have a moisture barrier.
Any noticeable draughts from unreasonable gaps or holes should be sealed up. Don’t forget that any unused open ﬁreplaces should be blocked off too, unless you want to use it.
A couple of pointers
Landlords need to be able to get into the property to do the work necessary to get the property to comply with the healthy homes standards. That means that in these instances, they can give a minimum of 24 hours notice to access the rental property.
It’s always good to have a chat with your landlord and find out what they’ve done already and what they have in the works.
In good time
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to happen and when.
- Insulation is now compulsory
Ceiling and underfloor insulation is now compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install.
- Signed, sealed and delivered
Landlords must sign a statement of intent to comply with the healthy homes standards in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.
From July 2020:
- Expect an update
Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards in your new or renewed tenancy agreement.
From July 2021:
- New tenancy, new timelines
If you’ve signed a new or renewed tenancy, your landlord must comply within 90 days.
- Boarding houses are up!
If you’re living in a boarding house, your landlord must comply with the healthy homes standards.
From July 2023:
- Public housing
If you’re living in a Housing New Zealand home or a registered Community Housing Provider, your landlord must comply with the healthy homes standards.
From July 2024:
- Expect your home to be healthy
All rental homes must comply with healthy homes standards.