Revealed: Healthy Homes minimum standards

Sunday 24 February 2019

The Government’s minimum standards to make rental properties healthier for tenants have finally been released – but landlords will have five years to comply with them.

By The Landlord

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford today released the Government’s much anticipated Healthy Homes minimum standards for rental properties.

Twyford says that making sure all New Zealanders have warm, dry homes is one of the most important public health changes the Government could make.

“Nearly 600,000 households rent in New Zealand, and our rental stock is of poorer quality than owner-occupied homes.

“It’s estimated about 200,000 families live in rental homes that do not have ceiling or underfloor insulation.”

The new standards set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties.

Under the new standards, all rental properties will be required to have:

• A heater that can heat the main living area to 18oC.
• Ceiling and underfloor insulation that either meets the 2008 Building Code insulation standard, or (for existing ceiling insulation) has a minimum thickness of 120mm.
• Extraction fans or rangehoods in kitchens and bathrooms in a bid to make properties drier.
• A ground moisture barrier installed if a property has an enclosed subfloor space to stop moisture rising into the home.
• Adequate drainage and guttering to prevent water entering the home.
• Draughts that make a home harder to heat blocked.

Twyford says the standards are pragmatic, enduring and don’t impose an unreasonable burden on landlords and industry.

“That’s while being mindful that renters need to have warmer and drier homes as soon as possible.”

While the regulations will become law by mid-2019, landlords will have until 1 July 2024 to get their rental properties compliant with the new standards.

The compliance timeline for the new standards is as follows:

• 1 July 2021 – From this date, private landlords must ensure that their rental properties comply with the healthy home standards within 90 days of any new tenancy.
• 1 July 2021 – All boarding houses must comply with the healthy home standards.
• 1 July 2023 – All Housing New Zealand houses and registered Community Housing Providers houses must comply with the healthy home standards.
• 1 July 2024 – All rental homes must comply with the healthy home standards.

More detailed information about the Healthy Homes minimum standards is available here

Read more:

Proposed Healthy Homes standards out 

Healthy Homes benefits overstated - economist

Comments from our readers

On 24 February 2019 at 10:26 pm Peter L said:
"Twyford says that making sure all New Zealanders have warm, dry homes is one of the most important public health changes the Government could make." So when will we see the mandatory standards for owner-occupied homes?

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