Demystifying Healthy Homes Standards

The Healthy Homes Standards are back in the spotlight after the Government announced they are extending out the timeframes for compliance (see more info here). Healthy Home Compliance is relatively straight forward when you're dealing with it every day but can seem more complex if you're not. We've created this blog to help both landlords and tenants understand these laws. 


The Healthy Home Standards were introduced in 2019 as a set of minimum requirements that all New Zealand rental homes must meet, these standards are spread across 5 categories – heating, insulation, ventilation, draught-stopping, and moisture/drainage. 

For any new or renewed tenancy dated 1st July 2021 onwards, the rental properties must be compliant with the Healthy Homes Standards within 120 days of the tenancy beginning (previously 90 days).

However, by 1st July 2025 (previously 2024), all private rental properties throughout NZ must be compliant with these standards. Regardless of the type of tenancy in place and when it began.


Heating Standards:

The main living room must have at least one fixed heater. In most cases, the acceptable types of heaters will be larger fixed devices like a heat pump, wood burner, pellet burner, or flued gas heater. However, in some cases (like a small apartment) a smaller fixed electric heater could be enough. These heaters must:

  • Be able to heat to at least 18 °C within 2 hours.
  • Maintain this temperature despite normal heat loss.


Insulation Standards:

All rental properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation throughout the home. There are a few exceptions to this – for example if your home is sitting on a concrete slab or has a flat roof, so installing insulation is not doable unless major construction work is done – but, if each space is easily & safely accessible, there must be insulation present & up to standard.

Insulation has an R-value, with a higher R-value indicating better insulation, rental properties in the South Island must meet these minimum R-values:

  • R-3.3 in the ceilings.
  • R-1.3 in the floors.


Ventilation Standards:

All habitable spaces in a rental property must have at least one window or door that:

  • Opens to the outdoors.
  • Is at least 5% of the floor area of the room.
  • Can be safely secured in an open position.


Each kitchen and bathroom much have an extractor fan installed that vents air outside. These fans have a minimum diameter that they must meet.

  • At least 150mm in the kitchens.
  • At least 120mm in the bathrooms.


Draught-Stopping Standards:

All rental homes must be free of any unreasonable gaps or holes that cause noticeable draughts. Any gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors, or doors that exceed 3mm in width (and are not intentional parts of the construction) need to be sufficiently sealed. This includes open fireplaces – these must be closed off or have their chimneys blocked.


Moisture and Drainage Standards:

  • If a rental property has an enclosed and safely accessible sub-floor space, then it must have a ground moisture barrier present.
  • Rental properties must have a drainage system that efficiently drains storm water, surface water, and ground water to an appropriate outfall.
  • Where appropriate, the drainage system must include gutters, downpipes, and drains for removal of water from the roof.


The consequences for not meeting Landlord obligations under the Healthy Home Standards are significant, up to $7,200.00 in fines, so it’s important to know whether your rental property is compliant or not. For guidance in this area, you're welcome to contact our property management team.


Information accurate at the time of writing (22 November 2022)