The healthy homes standards became law on 1 July 2019. They introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.
Landlords are responsible for maintaining and improving the quality of their rental properties. These standards will help ensure landlords have healthier, safer properties and lower maintenance costs for their investments.
We have put together a schedule showing what will be required and the compliance timeline *
The main living room must have a fixed heating device that can heat the room to at least 18°C. The new regulations clarify the requirements for heating devices – some will not meet the requirements under the heating standard as they are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy. A heating assessment tool has been provided (July 2019), which will assist with determining the heating capacity required for individual rooms.
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 and be in reasonable condition with no dampness, damage or displacement. Underfloor insulation needs a minimum R Value of 1.3. The new regulations also specify where insulation exemption applies.
Ventilation must include openable windows in each habitable space. The windows must comprise at least 5% of the floor area of that space. An appropriately sized extraction fan or rangehood must be installed in rooms with a bath or shower or indoor cooktop. Any fans installed after 1 July 2019 for a bathroom must have a diameter of at least 120mm and an exhaust capacity of at least 25 litres/sec (l/s). In kitchens, the diameter must be at least 150mm and exhaust capacity of 50 l/s
The standards reinforce existing law that says landlords must have adequate drainage and guttering. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor space, it must have an on-ground moisture barrier, which will stop moisture rising into the home.
Any gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors and doors that cause unreasonable draughts must be blocked. This includes all unused open fireplaces and chimneys.
All rental properties must comply with the healthy homes standards.