Blog » Rental properties must meet Healthy Homes Standards

Rental properties must meet Healthy Homes Standards

Alide Elkink  |  March 11, 2019

Well it’s happened….the introduction of Healthy Homes Standards has been announced! So what does this mean for landlords?

The Healthy Homes Guarantees Act was introduced in 2017 to improve the quality of rental properties in New Zealand. It amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 by requiring rental properties to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS). In the past week or so there has been wide media coverage of the requirements of the HHS but briefly, it covers requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught-stopping in rental properties.

When must this be done by?

As of 1 July 2021, rental properties owned by private landlords must be compliant with the HHS within 90 days of a new tenancy. Housing New Zealand, registered community housing providers and boarding houses have different dates by which they must be compliant but ALL rental properties must be compliant with the HHS by 1 July 2024.

New insulation requirements

The installation of insulation in the roof and underfloor spaces has been a requirement under the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016. The deadline for meeting the insulation installation requirements is 1 July this year. Unfortunately (and rather unreasonably), with the introduction of the HHS, the government has moved the goalposts on this one and now requires insulation to be installed to 2008 Building Code requirements (previously the insulation requirements were to meet the levels required when the insulation was originally installed).

What does this mean for your rental property?

Where there was none so insulation has been newly installed in a rental property, it will meet the current legislative requirements and nothing further needs to be done.

However, where there was existing insulation that was deemed to be satisfactory, it may not now meet the 2008 Code requirements and will also therefore not meet the HHS. In this case, it will need to be ‘topped up’ to be at least 120 mm thick or to demonstrate that it meets 2008 Code requirements.

We will notify you…

At Nightingales, we will reassess the insulation in all the properties we manage and will notify you of the insulation status in your rental property.