What is required to meet the healthy home standards?
The healthy homes standards introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties and became law on 1 July 2019.
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.
The standards will also make it easier for tenants to keep their homes warm and dry.
Unless there are exemptions that apply, all rental homes will be required to have:
- A fixed heating device that can heat the main living area to 18 degrees Celsius. No less than 1.5kw or greater than 2.4Kw.
- Ceiling and underfloor insulation that either meets the 2008 Building Code insulation standard, or (for existing ceiling insulation) has a minimum thickness of 120 millimetres.
- Mechanical extraction fans or rangehoods (externally vented) in kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, all habitable rooms will require windows that open. We will need to know the fan diameter or exhaust capacity.
- A ground moisture barrier installed to stop moisture rising into the home, where there is an enclosed subfloor space.
- Adequate drainage and guttering to prevent water entering the home.
- No unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts. All unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked. If a tenant wishes to use a fireplace, we will need to have a written request not to board this up.
By what date does my rental property need to reach the new healthy homes standards?
As of 1 July 2020, all new/varied tenancy agreements must state how the property does and does not comply with the standards.
By 1 July 2021, private landlords must ensure rental properties comply with the healthy home standards within 90 days of any new or varied tenancy
By 1 July 2024, all rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standards.
From 1 July 2019, landlords will also be required to:
- Keep records that demonstrate compliance with any healthy homes standards that apply or will apply during the tenancy; and
- Include a separately signed statement of intent to comply with the healthy homes standards in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.