Heating standards healthy homes

Healthy Homes Standards – Section 1: Heating

It is now a legal requirement for landlords to provide one or more fixed heaters which directly heat the main living room. The heater or heaters, must meet the minimum heating capacity needed for your main living room, as well as be an acceptable type.

Tenancy New Zealand believe that if heating is installed which reaches the temperature of 18˚C, tenants will be able to keep warm. 18˚C has been recommended as the minimum indoor temperature by The World Health Organisation (WHO).

It is identified that the main living room is often the largest room in the house that is used for everyday living. This can include the lounge, family room or dining room.

How to find out your heating capacity requirements

There are many ways to find out the heating capacity needed for your main living room, such as using the formula outlined by the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2019.

To remove the risk of getting it wrong, we recommend using a property compliance inspector experienced in conducting healthy homes inspections. Our Betta Property Compliance inspectors have conducted over 14,000 healthy homes inspections, making them some of the most experienced in New Zealand.

The heater or heaters in the rental property must be fixed and not portable, with a minimum of 1.5 kW in heating capacity. Our Betta Property Compliance inspectors will calculate this for you when conducting your healthy homes assessment.

An open fire or unflued combustion heater cannot be offered to meet the standards. If the property has a heat pump or electric heater as a solution to meeting the standards, it must have a thermostat. However, if the required heating capacity of your main living room is over 2.4 kW you cannot use an electric heater.

Most commonly a heat pump, wood burner, pellet burner or flued gas heater are the more acceptable heating sources. However in some cases, if the area is small, such as the living space of a small apartment, a fixed electric heater may be enough. For more information about what types of heating options are available click here.

All private rental properties and boarding houses must comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy agreement. This includes the heating standard. Any landlord seen to be not meeting their obligations under the healthy homes standards may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $7,200.

Our recommendation is to take away the risk of being fined. Click here to book your healthy homes inspection with an experienced Betta Property Compliance inspector to find out what your property needs.