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  • Writer's pictureThe ATL Team

A guide to the healthy homes standards

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

The healthy homes standards aim to set specific standards into rental properties through insulation, heating, ventilation, moisture and drainage.

A cold, damp home is linked to negative health outcomes such as asthma and cardiovascular conditions.

Although aimed at rental properties, these rules are a guide to creating a warm, comfortable home.

All private rentals must comply with all healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy on or after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.

What you need to know

The heating standard

Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. The heaters must be acceptable types, and must meet the minimum heating capacity required for your main living room.

Heaters must be fixed, and must be at least 1.5 kW in heating capacity and meet the minimum heating capacity needed for the main living room. To find the minimum heating capacity required, click here.

If you have a complex room layout, or you’re not sure what figures to include, get in touch

In most cases, the acceptable types of heaters will be a larger fixed heating device like a heat pump, wood burner, pellet burner or flued gas heater. In some cases, e.g. small apartments, a smaller fixed electric heater may be enough.

Insulation Standard

Ceiling and underfloor insulation has been compulsory in all rental homes since 1 July 2019. The healthy homes insulation standard builds on the current regulations and some existing insulation will need to be topped up or replaced.

Insulation stops heat escaping from the house. In general, the better insulated a home is, the more it will retain heat. This means:

  • it will usually cost less to heat the property.

  • the property will be drier.

  • the property will be less prone to mould.

Minimum R-values vary across New Zealand. In the South Island we have the highest requirement, Zone 3.

Zone 3 requires R 3.3 in the ceiling and R 1.3 underfloor.

To find out more, click here

Ventilation Standard

Rental homes must have openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms must have extractor fans.

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.

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.

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.

Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard

Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water. Rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must have a ground moisture barrier.

Draft Stopping Standard

Landlords must make sure the property doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts. All unused open fireplaces closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.

To find out more about any of the standards, visit the governments tenancy website


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