A guide to New Zealand’s Healthy Homes regulations
Research has linked cold and damp houses to an increase in health issues and hospitalisations, particularly for cardiovascular conditions and illnesses such as asthma.
As a result, 2019 saw new standards for Healthy Homes become law across New Zealand. These standards have been implemented to improve the well-being of Kiwi renters by making their homes warmer and drier.
Five key areas have been identified that landlords must implement as part of the Healthy Homes standards. These include heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping.
It is important to note that exemptions apply to each of these standards, and we can navigate these with you. We will work with you to ensure your property meets all applicable standards within the required timeframes:
From 1st July 2021
All rental homes must comply with the standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.
All boarding houses must already comply with the Healthy Homes standards, as of 1 July 2021.
From 1 July 2024
All houses rented by Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and registered Community Housing Providers must comply.
From 1st July 2025
All rental homes must comply with the Healthy Homes standards regardless of when the tenancy began.
If you would like to check compliance timeframes, you can do so via the compliance decision tool on the Tenancy Services website.
Under the Housing Improvement Regulations for Healthy Homes, landlords must provide at least one fixed heater in the main living room of their property and it must meet a required heating capacity.
A smaller electric heater that is fixed may qualify for smaller apartments. Talk to your Hammond & Co property manager if you are unsure. Landlords are responsible for managing asbestos-related risks when installing new heating.
To check if your current heating device is sufficient, visit the official Tenancy Services government website and use their heating tool.
Since 1 July 2019, it has been compulsory to have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed on your property. The Healthy Homes Insulation Standards add to the current regulations, which may require some landlords to ‘top up’ their insulation or replace it.
Including an insulation statement is now a compulsory component of any tenancy agreement. In this, the landlord must disclose whether there is insulation in the property. Where it is, what type, and what condition it is in.
To check if your current insulation meets the new Healthy Homes standards, head to the official Tenancy Services government website to use their online insulation tool.
To read more about the heating and insulation standard, download the full guide here.
As part of the Healthy Homes regulations, residential properties need to have windows located in the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms that are openable.
For bathrooms and kitchens, extractor fans or some form of continuous ventilation system must be installed and in working order. Recirculating extractor fans or ones that can’t ventilate to the outdoors will not meet the ventilation
Moisture ingress & drainage standard requirements
Under Healthy Homes regulations, rental properties need to contain efficient drainage that can safely remove surface water, groundwater, and stormwater.
Required drainage includes downpipes, drains, and gutters that remove water from the property’s roof.
Landlords are required to ensure their properties do not contain unreasonable holes that can result in draughts. These can result in lower household temperatures and make it very expensive for tenants to heat their homes.
To read more about the ventilation standard, moisture ingress & drainage standard requirements and drought-stopping standard, download the full guide here.
Healthy Homes Compliance
For tenancy renewals or any new tenancies, all tenancy agreements need to include compliance information about the property being tenanted. You can use the compliance statement tool to determine if you need to include a healthy homes compliance statement in your tenancy.
When we tenant your property, Hammond & Co will ensure any relevant compliance statements are included in the tenancy agreements.
If you have any questions regarding Healthy Homes, please reach out to your Hammond & Co property manager. For more information and to check compliance tools, visit the official Tenancy Services website via www.tenancy.govt.nz.