Government Reduces Healthy Homes Requirements



Responding to feedback from the rental sector, the government has announced an upcoming amendment to the Healthy Homes Standards, expected to take effect in April 2022.


What is Changing?

The changes to the heating standard will enable smaller heating devices to be installed in new homes build to the 2008 building code requirements for insulation and glazing and apartments, to reflect the higher thermal performance of these new homes built. These landlords will also benefit from a 9 month grace period, as their 90-day compliance period will now not start until 6 months after the change comes into effect.


The Heating Formula

  • Now a ventilation rate of 0.5 air changes per hour is required, instead of 1.0.

  • Previously, a constant pick up load (the energy initially required to heat the living room to the required temperature of 18ºC) of 40W/m². Now there is a pick up load of 20% of the base heat requirement.

  • Heat loss of 25% from the living room to adjacent internal rooms is now allowed. Previously was 50%.

  • As an alternative to the heating formula/tool a specialist will be able to certify that the heating standard is met based on criteria including that the heating device or system used will heat to and maintain the living room at 18 ºC on the coldest day of the year.

  • For buildings subject to the new heating formula, the 90 day compliance period will only start 6 months after the changes come into effect. For each tenancy the trigger date is when a new tenancy starts or renews.

  • Allows a rental home with a required heating capacity of more than 2.4kW but with undersized qualifying heaters installed before 1 July 2019 to use electric heaters to ‘top up’ to the required heating capacity where the qualifying heaters are short of the required heating capacity by 2.4kW or less.

  • Allows geothermal heating systems, which directly provide heat to the living room, and for which the heating capacity is not stated, to satisfy the requirements of the healthy homes heating standard.


The Ventilation Standard

  • The healthy homes ventilation standard will also be amended to enable the use of continuous mechanical ventilation which extracts to the outdoors from kitchens and bathrooms, provided the system received building consent on or after 1 November 2019.

  • Mechanical ventilation systems that continuously extract from kitchens and bathrooms will meet the Ventilation Standard where they are installed in dwellings that have first received building consent on or after 1 November 2019, provided the mechanical ventilation system was part of the original building consent and continues to meet the requirements of that building consent.


Note these above changes only apply to new homes built to the 2008 building code requirements for insulation and glazing and apartments. Landlords will have to comply to the current requirements for the Healthy Homes Standards until the regulations for these changes are developed by Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and are in force in April 2022. All other types of building will continue to use the current heating formula and ventilation standards.


Are you looking into Healthy Homes yourself? A Property Manager is an easy way to cut the stress out of the equation. We take on all aspects of the landlord’s role, and ensure the property is compliant with Healthy Homes and other legislation.


Locally owned and managed, we take care of investments, offering peace of mind and a personal service to investors and tenants alike. With 30+ years experience in residential property management services, our solutions are backed by industry-leading technology and proven systems that promote both excellent property care and strong investment returns. If you would like to chat about the possibility of working together, or to receive a no-obligation, FREE Rental Appraisal get in touch with our team today


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