Heating standards compliance

Heating standards: Will you comply?

The heating standards under the Healthy Homes Guarantees Act has got some landlords confused over what is currently required and what will be required when the heating standards come into law. The heating standard does not come into effect until 2021 at which point landlords will have three years to ensure their rental properties are compliant.

However, the time between when landlords must comply and when they need to be complying has created a “limbo period” that seems to be causing confusion and has been highlighted in some recent Tenancy Tribunal cases.  We thought we’d give you a reminder of exactly what is required and when.


What is the heating standard?

All rental properties must have one or more fixed heaters, that can directly heat the main living room to at least 18°C, which is the World Health Organization recommendation for a minimum indoor temperature, and can maintain that temperature all year round. The main living room is classified as the largest room that is used for general/everyday living. This can be the lounge, family room or dining room. Certain heating devices that are inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy will not meet the requirements of this standard. A portable heater will not meet the requirements from July 2021.

From 1 July 2021 private rentals must comply with the heating standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy. And from 1 July 2024 private rentals must be complying.

What size heater will I need?

You can find out the size heater you will need by using the heating assessment tool. The heating assessment tool will help calculate the heating requirements. It’s important to read the guides before you start, as you’ll need the measurements of your living room walls, floor, windows, ceiling and any other features to accurately calculate your heating requirements. Once you do this it will create a report that shows the minimum heating capacity required. It can also be used to check if the current heating is sufficient to meet the standard, or if it is necessary to install a new heater.

What is the online heating assessment tool?

An online heating assessment tool is available in the Tenancy Services website that enables you to evaluate if their heater is compliant for that living room. After the user enters several parameters such as living area size, the wattage of the heater, etc, the online tool will produce a calculation that needs to be included with the tenancy agreement as part of the heating statement.

Are there any exemptions?

Exemptions are given for certain certified passive houses. These types of homes are warm, dry and have a low maintenance cost because they are built utilising high specification windows, insulation and automated ventilation system that can maintain indoor temperatures to 20°C year-round. Moreover, the exemption is also given to homes that are not reasonably practicable to install a heating device in the living area.

From 1 July 2020
Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.

From 1 July 2021
Private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new, or renewed, tenancy.
All boarding houses (except Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and Community Housing Provider boarding house tenancies) must comply with the healthy homes standards.

From 1 July 2023
All Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) houses and registered Community Housing Provider houses must comply with the healthy homes standards.

From 1 July 2024
All rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standards.

We’ll be in contact with all our clients to ensure compliance, and if you have any questions regarding heating your rental property, please give us a call 093735400