What is the Healthy Homes Standards Criteria?

Many landlords have been left scrambling and confused by the new healthy homes standards law change. Some of the people calling the team at BuildME thought they had brought their rental property up to compliance only to find it didn’t meet the criteria. 

So, to make things easy we’ve decided to make a quick guide on the five key compliance requirements for the healthy homes standards. These are all the things your rental must follow to ensure your home is suitable for renting under the new laws.

Insulation

Since 2019, ceiling and floor insulation has been compulsory for all rental homes. So, theoretically your rental should already comply with this requirement. 

Insulation is important for a healthy homes as it prevents heat from escaping in the colder months. Meaning the property will:

  • Cost less to heat
  • Be drier
  • Be Less prone prone to mould

For most of the north island homes insulation is required to have a minimum R-value of 2.9 in the ceiling and 1.3 for underfloor insulation. Whereas in colder climates such as the south island and central north island an R-value of 3.3 is required in ceilings and 1.3 for underfloor.

Ventilation

This standard should be easy for most homes however could end up being a costly fix for others. The healthy homes standards requires all homes to have an openable window in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. With kitchens and bathrooms requiring an extractor fan.

The tricky part is that the windows must be at least 5% of the floor area of the room they are in. Extractor fans have a minimum capacity they must meet to be accepted.

  • Kitchen – 150mm fan diameter or 50 litre per second exhaust capacity
  • Bathroom – 120mm fan diameter or 25 litre per second exhaust capacity

Heating

Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters in the main living area of the rental property. The World Health Organisation recommends 18c as a minimum indoor temperature. So the heater/s must be able to sufficiently heat the living room area to this temperature during the winter months.

The team at BuildME can help you calculate what size heater your rental property requires to stay sufficiently warm.

Moisture

Excess moisture or dampness can cause serious health concerns for tenants. So, it is important for the landlord to ensure their home has efficient drainage and a ground moisture barrier for subfloor spaces.

Draught Stopping

Landlords must close all unreasonable gaps and holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause a noticeable draught. If a home has an unused fireplace it must be closed and its chimney blocked to prevent draughts.

Draughts make it more expensive for tenants to heat their property, and make it hard to achieve sufficiently warm temperatures. 

Also, landlords cannot use the age of their property as a reason not to fix the holes or gaps in their property.

BuildME for Healthy Homes Standards Inspections

If everything you’ve just read seems a bit too confusing or you are just unsure about your rental property. Then the team at BuildME is happy to help. Give us a call at 0800 6328 453 or contact us online for help inspecting your rental property for the new healthy homes standards.