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Healthy homes ventilation requirements

Alide Elkink  |  July 23, 2020

I have previously described the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) heating requirements in my blog Heating requirements in rental properties (August 2019). Ventilation is another requirement of the Healthy Homes Standards.

Ventilation requirements

The HHS requires that all habitable rooms in residential rental properties must have at least one openable window, door or skylight. Habitable rooms include the living room, dining room, kitchen and all bedrooms.

The size of the openable window, door or skylight must be at least 5% of the floor area of the room and it must be able to be fixed in an open position. For example, a 16 m2 room (say 4 m x 4 m) must have an openable window that is at least 0.8 m2. This could be an opening size of for example, 900 mm wide x 900 mm high or 650 mm wide x 1.25 m high. The 0.8 m2 minimum requirement may also consist of more than one openable window, door or skylight.

Kitchens and bathrooms must also have mechanical ventilation such as a rangehood or an extractor fan, installed. The mechanical ventilation is to remove moist damp air that is produced from cooking and bathing, to the exterior.


There are two situations where the ventilation requirements of the Healthy Homes Standards may be exempted:

  • if the amount of ventilation in the room met the legal requirements at the time that the room was built or converted even if it no longer meets current requirements, or if alternative ventilation requirements were met at the time the room was built or converted and the level of ventilation still meets those requirements, or
  • where it is not reasonable practicable to install a rangehood or an extractor fan.


When do the HHS compliance requirements come into effect?

All private residential rental properties must comply with the HHS within 90 days of a new or renewed tenancy from 1 July 2021 and all private residential rental properties must be compliant by 1 July 2024.

How Nightingales are meeting compliance

At Nightingales, we are already working towards compliance with the HHS in the properties we manage. We have long recognised that good ventilation in rental properties is essential for:

  • the health and wellbeing of our tenants, and
  • ensuring that properties stay drier, warmer and mould and mildew-free.