Healthy Homes For Renters – What Landlords Need to Know

Healthy Homes For Renters

As a landlord, your contribution towards ensuring that your rental properties provide safe living spaces is invaluable. The Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) introduced by New Zealand’s government underscore your responsibility in offering healthy homes for renters, safeguarding both their well-being and your investment. It is imperative you’re informed about these regulations, as non-compliance could lead to significant legal and financial repercussions.

Adhering to the HHS means meticulously incorporating the standards set for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, drainage, and draught stopping. Not only do these measures provide tenants with healthier living environments, but they also offer you peace of mind that your property is up to par with the latest legislations. If you are uncertain about how these changes apply to you, reach out to our specialists for a detailed assessment and expert recommendations tailored for your property located along the stunning Kapiti coast.

Key Takeaways

  • You are responsible for ensuring your rentals meet the Healthy Homes Standards.
  • Standards cover heating, insulation, ventilation, and more for safe living spaces.
  • Non-compliance with HHS can lead to legal and financial consequences.
  • Upgrading your properties as per the HHS provides better health outcomes for tenants.
  • For assistance, contact our local team to keep your rental properties healthy and compliant.

Introduction to Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) in New Zealand

Welcome to the realm of healthy living and non-toxic living. The pursuit of healthy interiors and ensuring non-toxic rentals are available to tenants is a journey that both landlords and renters embark on together. In New Zealand, this commitment is reinforced through adherence to the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS), which have been designed to uplift the living conditions within the rental market.

The Importance of Complying with the HHS

Compliance with the HHS is not simply a regulatory must but a step towards nurturing healthier communities. By meeting these standards, landlords contribute significantly to the health of their tenants, mitigate the encumbrance of frequent property repairs, and adhere to a standard that promotes societal well-being.

Key Benefits for Landlords and Tenants

When landlords invest in healthy interiors, they are not only enhancing their tenants’ quality of life but are also securing their investment. Benefits range from elevated property value and desirability to reduced turnover rates due to increased tenant satisfaction and loyalty.

Understanding the Minimum Standards

To ascertain compliance by the set dates, it’s imperative to grasp the core elements of the HHS. These include the installation of effective heating solutions, proficient insulation, and sufficient ventilation systems. While comprehending these minimum standards, landlords ensure that they are fostering a healthy living environment and avoiding the steep shortfalls connected with non-compliance.

  • Efficient heating systems are required to warm homes to a minimum temperature, thereby enhancing tenant comfort and health.
  • Adequate insulation retains the warmth within the property, reducing heating costs and damp-related health issues.
  • Proper ventilation is pivotal in maintaining air quality, which is essential for a non-toxic rental environment.

These elements combined contribute to a holistic standard that not only improves the immediate living conditions but also the long-term viability and sustainability of the rental property. As the deadlines approach, it is integral for landlords to begin or continue their journey towards a complete HHS-compliant status.

Heating Requirements for Rental Properties

Creating a healthy home for renters entails ensuring that your tenants have access to safe living spaces, particularly when it comes to heating. It’s essential that rental properties are equipped with effective and sustainable heating solutions to maintain a minimum indoor temperature of 18°C, a standard for healthy living environments. As you navigate the regulations set by the healthy homes heating standard, it’s important to consider both the efficiency and the affordability of the heating systems you provide.

healthy homes heating standard

Under the Healthy Homes Standards, heating devices deemed inefficient, unaffordable, or unhealthy are not permitted. To comply, you may find that installing new heating systems, or supplementing existing ones, is necessary to meet the minimum temperature requirement. Remember, while heaters installed prior to the 1st of July 2019 that have a heating capacity greater than 2.4 kW might be deemed acceptable today, regulations demand that any future replacements align fully with the current standards.

  • Check if your current heating solutions can reliably maintain at least 18°C.
  • Assess whether your heating devices meet the efficiency criteria set forth by the HHS.
  • Plan for any necessary upgrades or installations before heaters might require replacement.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) website provides a wealth of information on different heating options, aiding landlords in making informed decisions about the most suitable heating systems for their properties. It is paramount to balance upfront costs with the long-term benefits of providing a healthy home for renters, and to take into account the potential for improved tenant satisfaction and retention with the provision of safe living spaces. Ensure that you are ahead of the curve with the healthy homes heating standard requirements and make wise investments that promote both compliance and comfort.

Ventilation: Creating Healthier and Safer Living Spaces

Ensuring the circulation of fresh air within your property is essential for promoting healthy living and safeguarding against the dangers of indoor pollutants. As you strive to provide non-toxic rentals, it is vital to integrate robust ventilation systems that meet and exceed the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS). Let’s delve into the necessary specifications and legalities that will make your rental property a healthier abode.

Ventilation Necessities in Key Areas of the Home

Fresh air is a critical component of a healthy home. Achieving proper ventilation means more than merely allowing for a breeze; it’s about ensuring consistent air quality day and night, across all seasons. The HHS specifically requires that living rooms, dining areas, kitchens, and bedrooms have adequate facilities to enable effective airflow.

  • Living rooms and bedrooms should have operable windows, fostering an environment where air can naturally refresh itself.
  • Kitchens must possess extractor fans, capable of mitigating smoke, steam, and odours, thus contributing to a cleaner, more pleasant living space.
  • Bathrooms should be equipped with extractor fans that reduce humidity and condensation, preventing mould growth and maintaining a healthier atmosphere.

Healthy Home Ventilation Diagram

Each component within the ventilation system plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health integrity of the property, ensuring tenants enjoy a comfortable and safe habitat.

Legal Obligations for Proper Air Circulation

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ascertain that your rentals comply with the legal standards set for adequate air circulation. These standards are not only a matter of tenant comfort but also a requirement to protect the property’s structural integrity and uphold the health of those residing within. The installation of the mandated ventilation systems must adhere to New Zealand building codes, often requiring the expertise of licensed professionals.

The HHS details specific requirements, including:

  1. Minimum sizes for openable windows in living spaces and bedrooms.
  2. Capacity of extractor fans, ensuring they are sufficient to handle the volume of air in kitchens and bathrooms.
  3. Extractor fans must be vented to the outdoors to remove excess moisture effectively.

Meeting these criteria will help you maintain healthy living standards in your rental property, prevent structural damage from moisture, and give you peace of mind that you are compliant with the law.

Insulation Standards: What You Need to Update

For landlords looking to maintain compliance with New Zealand’s healthy homes insulation standard, understanding the recent updates to insulation criteria is imperative. The revised requirements were designed to bolster the energy efficiency of your properties, potentially lowering heating costs and improving the comfort of your tenants.

Whether you own a classic villa or a contemporary apartment, it’s your responsibility to ensure that both ceiling and underfloor insulation adhere to the specified R-values, which indeed vary by location. If you installed insulation before 1 July 2016, measure its thickness—compliance starts at 120mm.

Failure to meet the guidelines can have financial ramifications up to $4,000. However, be mindful that there are exemptions, particularly when the installation is not practically feasible. Thus, a thorough assessment of your current insulation’s performance is crucial. Determine if you need to upgrade or completely overhaul your existing setup for peak efficiency and regulatory adherence.

Below is a helpful illustration that exhibits the crucial aspects of the healthy homes insulation standard:

Healthy Homes Insulation Requirements

  • Ceiling Insulation: Must meet the required R-value based on the region your property is in. Those in colder regions will require a higher R-value for greater thermal resistance.
  • Underfloor Insulation: Similarly, this must also meet location-specific R-values, ensuring the floor remains insulated against the cold ground.
  • Compliance Certificates: Upon inspection and installation, ensure you receive a compliance certificate, serving as proof that your property meets the standards.
  • Exemptions and Exceptions: If your property qualifies for an exemption, have the necessary documentation ready to avoid complications.

Keeping on top of these demands may seem daunting, yet it contributes significantly to creating a healthier, more sustainable living environment. Revisiting your insulation aspects is not just about legal conformity, but also about honouring your commitment to providing a homely sanctuary for your tenants.

Mitigating Moisture and Enhancing Drainage

As a conscientious landlord, your commitment to maintaining a healthy living environment extends to addressing the silent yet pervasive issue of moisture ingress. Assuring proper drainage in your rental properties is not just about infrastructure but about promoting the well-being of your tenants.

Effective Drainage for Healthy Living Environments

Preventing Moisture-Related Issues in Rentals

Combating moisture can seem daunting, but by taking proactive steps, you can prevent a multitude of problems. From structural damage to health concerns for residents, moisture ingress can undermine the very foundation of a healthy living environment. Nevertheless, practical solutions such as installing a ground moisture barrier can effectively prevent dampness from seeping into the home.

Drainage Solutions: A Landlord’s Responsibility

Implementing an efficient drainage system is pivotal in upholding the quality of your rental accommodations. Efficient guttering, downpipes, and, where necessary, ground moisture barriers are not just recommended but essential components of any property focused on healthy living. Failure to address these areas may lead to escalated maintenance issues and compromise tenant health, making it your responsibility to provide these vital features.

Drainage ComponentFunctionSignificance
GutteringChannels rainwater away from the propertyPrevents water damage to the building’s exterior and foundations
DownpipesDirects water from the gutter into the drainage systemReduces the risk of moisture seeping into the structure
Ground Moisture BarrierPrevents ground moisture rising into the homeCreates a drier, healthier environment, reducing the potential for mould growth

By focusing on these critical aspects of property maintenance, you will be taking a significant step towards promoting a safe and healthy living environment while ensuring the longevity and integrity of your rental property’s structure.


In the realm of rental properties, your commitment to the Healthy Homes Standards not only affirms your responsibility as a landlord but signifies your dedication to the health and comfort of your tenants. These guidelines are not mere formalities but critical constituents in crafting healthy homes for renters, contributing to a wholesome living environment that goes beyond mere shelter. Each step taken to comply with these stipulations is a stride towards ensuring the properties you manage are conducive to non-toxic, safe living conditions.

It’s imperative to recognise that adherence to these standards is a progressive journey, encompassing the optimisation of heating, the enhancement of insulation, the advancement of ventilation, the mitigation of moisture, and the refinement of drainage systems. As you navigate through these obligations, bear in mind that every improvement is an investment in the sustainability of your property and the well-being of those who inhabit it.

Your efforts to align with these standards are invaluable, and we at Avery Rental recognise the complexities involved in achieving full compliance. As you endeavour to transform your properties into paragons of healthy living, we stand ready to assist you. Should you require support or insights on fulfilling these standards, do not hesitate to contact our team based in Paraparaumu. Reach out at or call us at 027 563 6979 for dedicated guidance in cultivating rental spaces that not only meet legal benchmarks but also enrich the lives of your tenants.


What are the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) in New Zealand?

The HHS are a set of specific minimum standards legislated in New Zealand, aimed at improving the quality of rental housing by ensuring they are warm, dry, and healthy to live in. They cover heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, drainage, and draught stopping.

Why is it important for landlords to comply with the HHS?

Compliance with the HHS is not only a legal requirement but also ensures that the living conditions in rental properties are safe and promote the well-being of tenants. Non-compliance can lead to legal and financial repercussions, including fines of up to NZ$4,000.

What are the key benefits for landlords and tenants with the HHS compliance?

Tenants benefit from healthier living environments with reduced risks of illnesses associated with cold, damp, and poorly ventilated homes. For landlords, benefits include maintaining property value, reduced maintenance costs over time, and avoiding fines for non-compliance.

What are the specific heating requirements rental properties must meet?

Rental properties must have fixed heating able to heat the living room to at least 18°C, which is the temperature considered necessary for a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. Certain types of inefficient heating devices do not comply with the HHS and may need to be replaced or upgraded.

How does proper ventilation contribute to a safer living space?

Adequate ventilation helps maintain air quality and prevents excess moisture build-up, which is critical for creating non-toxic and healthy living spaces. The HHS require openable windows or similar ventilation in living areas and extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms.

What insulation standards must be met under the HHS?

Updated insulation standards under the HHS require ceiling and underfloor insulation to meet specific R-values, appropriate for the property’s location in New Zealand. Insulation installed before 1 July 2016 needs to be at least 120mm thick to be compliant.

What should landlords know about preventing moisture ingress and maintaining proper drainage?

Landlords must have effective measures to prevent moisture ingress, such as installing ground moisture barriers and ensuring proper functioning of guttering and downpipes. Good drainage practices prevent moisture problems, preserving property integrity and tenant health.

How can I prove compliance with the HHS in my rental properties?

Landlords are required to provide a compliance statement within their tenancy agreements detailing how their properties meet the HHS. This includes documented evidence of heating, insulation, ventilation, and moisture and drainage compliance.

Are there exemptions to any of the HHS requirements?

Yes, exemptions apply in certain circumstances where compliance is not reasonably practicable or if specific conditions make it impossible to install measures according to the standards. Landlords should seek professional advice to understand if they qualify for any exemptions.

When do rental properties need to fully comply with the HHS?

All rental properties must comply with the HHS within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy starting after 1 July 2021, with complete compliance required by 1 July 2024.

Source Links

Compare listings