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The RentFit.co.nz Guide to the 5 Healthy Home Standards
There are 5 Healthy Homes Standards covering rental properties in New Zealand. Tenancy Services provide a guide for each standard on their website.
All rental properties must have a heater, in good working order, capable of maintaining the main living room of the house at 18dec C continuously. Tenancy services have a specific calculation that is required to determine the KW required for each property. You are not allowed to use electric heaters over 2.4kw in size and Heat Pumps are allowed in all sizes.
If the ceiling is accessible the house must have a minimum of 70mm up to 1 July 2021. After 1 July 2021, the ceiling must have a minimum of 120mm thick ceiling insulation in reasonable condition to be compliant.
If the existing ceiling insulation is below these thicknesses a new layer of R2.9 or higher must be installed throughout the ceiling.
If it is not accessible, or too low, it is likely to be exempt.
If there is an accessible underfloor area (wooden floor house on piles) It must have Underfloor Insulation R1.3 minimum now.
It is rare for looped foil insulation to meet the minimum requirements as it has normally lost it's reflective quality or has been damaged. It is illegal to repair or reinstall foil insulation.
All kitchen and bathrooms must have working extraction fans ducted to the outside. If installing new they must meet minimum requirements.
Kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms must have windows or doors that open to the outside that can be held open (stays or self-supporting). This must represent 5% of the floor area of each room.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage
If there is an accessible underfloor/subfloor area (wooden floor house on piles) it must have a Ground Moisture Barrier (eg, Polyethylene Sheet).
All rainwater (spouting/guttering) must be in good working condition with no blockages or damage. It must also be connected to a suitable outfall (Not allowed to go onto the ground).
Any drainage issues around the house need to be addressed.
The house is not allowed to have any unintentional gaps that cause draughts.
Examples of this are external doors with air gaps under them. Old wooden windows with gaps, old aluminium windows with failed seals, louvre windows without seals, broken cat doors. These can be easily remedied in most cases with draught stopping products.
If the house has an open fireplace it must be blocked permanently or a written signed agreement must be in place with the tenant allowing it to remain open.
Most categories have some exemption options depending on the situation. For example, a house with a very low or flat roof may be exempt from the ceiling insulation standard as it is not possible to install the insulation. This exemption would cease if the roof was replaced and an opportunity was available to install insulation.
You will find more information about exemptions here.
From 1 July 2019 ceiling and underfloor insulation must meet minimum standards.
From 1 December 2020, every new or renewed tenancy agreement must be accompanied by a Healthy Homes Compliance Statement. See here for the Tenancy Services Template.
From 1 July 2021, within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy, the property must be compliant with the 5 Healthy Homes Standards.
For more detail on the important dates see this link.
Obviously, a full audit would be needed to give an actual report of the works required. Our Rentfit.co.nz business can complete that for $250 plus GST. This includes a Compliance Statement which is required for new or renewed tenancies from 1 December 2020.
Please feel free to contact our customer service team to book an insulation or healthy homes assessment email@example.com or 09 6368409.
In no way is this blog a full list of all Healthy Homes requirements, exemptions, or time frames. It is a starting point to give you a high-level overview and we highly recommend the Tenancy Services website for all of the information you need.
- 26 November