Phil Twyford announces new housing standards for rentals

Phil Twyford announced the new standards for his healthy homes standards.

Boarding houses must comply with all of the standards by 1 July 2021.

Housing New Zealand and Registered Community Housing Providers have until 1 July 2023 to ensure all their properties comply.

All rental properties in New Zealand must meet the Healthy Homes Standards by 1 July 2024.

The Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) are:

  • Heating – Rental homes must have fixed heating devices in living rooms, which can warm rooms to at least 18°C. Some heating devices are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy, and they will not meet the heating standard requirements.
  • Insulation – Rental homes must have ceiling and underfloor insulation which either meets the 2008 Building Code, or (for existing ceiling insulation) is at least 120mm thick.
  • Moisture and drainage – Rental homes must have efficient drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If a rental home has an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier if it’s possible to install one.
  • Ventilation – Rental homes must have the right size extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.
  • Draught-stopping – Rental homes must have no unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. All unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked.

Under the current requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords must ensure that their rental properties have the right ceiling and underfloor insulation by 1 July 2019.

Landlords who have installed new insulation since 2016 should already meet the 2008 Building Code, so they won’t need to do anything further when the Healthy Homes Standards take effect.

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