In December 2017, the Government passed the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act Regulations 2017. This Act amended the Residential Tenancies Act, and enables standards to be made to make rental homes warmer and drier. The standards set minimum requirements to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards). Below is a summary of the main aspects covered under the standards which are currently being drafted in regulations and approved by cabinet which will mean they are likely to become law by mid 2019.
A short summary of the standards proposed are as follows:
There must be fixed heating devices, capable of achieving a minimum temperature of at least 18 degrees celcius in the living room only. Some heating devices are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy and will not meet the requirements under the heating standard.
The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must either meet the 2008 Building Code, or (for existing ceiling insulation) have a minimum thickness of 120mm.
Ventilation must include openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Also an appropriately sized extractor fan(s) in rooms with a bath or shower or indoor cooktop.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard
Landlords must ensure efficient drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier if it’s possible to install one.
Draught Stopping Standard
Landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. All unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked.
Compliance timeframes with the standards are:
For more details on the standards check out the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website:
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