In New Zealand, the Healthy Homes standards are a set of minimum standards that all rental properties must meet. These standards were introduced in 2019 to ensure that rental properties are warm, dry, and free from mould and other hazards.
Why are Healthy Homes standards important?
There are a number of reasons why Healthy Homes standards are important in New Zealand rentals.
Protecting tenant health: Cold, damp, and mouldy homes can have a significant impact on people’s health, particularly children and those with respiratory conditions. In fact, research has shown that living in a cold, damp home can increase the risk of respiratory infections, asthma, and other health problems.
Reducing healthcare costs: Healthy Homes standards can also help to reduce healthcare costs. By improving the quality of rental housing, the government can help to prevent tenants from getting sick in the first place. This can save the government money on hospital stays, doctor visits, and other medical expenses.
Improving tenant satisfaction: Healthy Homes standards can also lead to improved tenant satisfaction. Tenants who live in warm, dry, and healthy homes are more likely to be happy with their accommodation and to stay longer. This can benefit landlords by reducing tenant turnover and saving money on marketing and advertising.
Protecting landlords’ investments: Healthy Homes standards can also protect landlords’ investments. By preventing damage to properties from mould and damp, landlords can save money on repairs and maintenance.
What are the Healthy Homes standards?
The Healthy Homes standards cover five key areas:
Heating: All rental properties must have a fixed heating source that can heat the main living area to at least 18 degrees Celsius.
Insulation: All rental properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation that meets the minimum standards.
Ventilation: All rental properties must have adequate ventilation to prevent moisture build-up.
Moisture ingress and drainage: All rental properties must have adequate drainage to prevent moisture from entering the property.
Draught stopping: All rental properties must have draught stopping measures in place to prevent heat loss.
How to comply with the Healthy Homes standards
If you are a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that your rental property complies with the Healthy Homes standards. There are a number of resources available to help you comply with the standards, including the Tenancy Services website and the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation.
What are the benefits of complying with the Healthy Homes standards?
There are a number of benefits to complying with the Healthy Homes standards, including:
- Improved tenant health
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Improved tenant satisfaction
- Protected investment
- Compliance with the law
How can I get help with complying with the Healthy Homes standards?
If you need help with complying with the Healthy Homes standards we are avaliable to help. We offer all services from assessments, quotes and compliance.
Additional tips for healthy rentals
In addition to complying with the Healthy Homes standards, there are a number of other things you can do to create a healthy rental property, including:
- Regularly check for and fix leaks
- Encourage tenants to ventilate their homes properly
- Use low-VOC paints and finishes
- Provide access to outdoor space
- Encourage tenants to maintain a clean and hygienic home
By following these tips, you can create a healthy and comfortable rental property that will be attractive to tenants and help to protect your investment.