The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019
The healthy homes standards introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
Landlords are responsible for maintaining and improving the quality of their rental properties. These standards will help ensure landlords have healthier, safer properties and lower maintenance costs for their investments.
The standards will also make it easier for tenants to keep their homes warm and dry.
Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. The heater(s) must be acceptable types and must meet the minimum heating capacity required for your main living room.
To find out the heating capacity required for the main living room, landlords need to use the Heating Assessment Tool, or the formula outlined in the regulations.
Ceiling and underfloor insulation have been compulsory in all rental homes since 1 July 2019. The healthy home insulation standard builds on the current regulations and some existing insulation will need to be topped up or replaced.
Rental homes must have openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms must have extractor fans.
Mould and dampness caused by poor ventilation are harmful to tenants’ health as well as landlords’ property. The ventilation standard targets mould and dampness in rental homes.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard
Rental properties must have efficient drainage for the removal of stormwater, surface water, and groundwater. Rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must have a ground moisture barrier.
Moisture can be a large source of dampness in a home. This dampness can lead to poor health outcomes for tenants and can be destructive to the quality of a house.
Ground Moisture Barrier
The Drainage System
b. downpipes and
c. drains for the removal of water from the roof
Draught 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 must be closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.
Draughts increase the likelihood of lower temperatures in houses and can make it more expensive for a tenant to heat their home.
Fixing draughts is an easy way to reduce heating bills and keep rental homes warm and dry.
All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 23 February 2023.
Landlords that don’t meet their obligations under the healthy home standards are in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act of 1986.
They may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $7,200.