New Zealand’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development announced new Healthy Homes standards or HHS. They are committed to make every rental home a warm, safe and healthy home to live in. Approximately 600,000 households rent in New Zealand. Rental properties have different quality compared to the home owner’s properties. These healthy standards will help in improving the quality of the rental properties as well as the lifestyle of the tenants.
Healthy Homes standards will ensure significant change in the quality of the house. Healthy Homes standards or HHS covers heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, drainage, and draught stopping improvements for rental properties. Each segment has a minimum set of requirements. These improvements must be followed by landlords across New Zealand.
Healthy Homes Required Standard
NZ government has defined a minimum requirement under each category of Healthy Homes standard for all residential rental properties.
The fixed heating devices must be capable of reaching at least 18°C in the living room only. Some heating systems are not capable of producing much heat for the room to stay warm. They are inefficient and do not meet the heating requirements.
Ceiling and underfloor insulation must comply with the 2008 Building Code or should meet the minimum thickness of 120mm.
Openable windows must be in the dining room, living room, bedroom, and kitchen. A bath or shower and indoor cooktop must have an appropriately sized exhaust fan.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage
There should be efficient downpipes, drainage, and guttering in the rental properties. Any enclosed floor must have ground moisture barrier if it can be installed.
All unnecessary holes or gaps must be covered up by the landlord. These gaps or holes can be in the walls, ceiling, floors, windows, and doors. Additionally, unused fireplaces and chimneys should be removed or blocked as well.
1 July 2021 – From this date, private landlords must ensure that their rental properties comply with HHS within 90 days of any new tenancy.
1 July 2021 – All boarding houses must comply with the HHS.
1 July 2023 – All Housing New Zealand and registered Community Housing Provider houses must comply with the HHS.
1 July 2024 – All rental homes must comply with the HHS.