As a landlord, staying compliant with the Healthy Homes Standards is not just about adhering to regulations but ensuring your tenants live in safe, warm, and healthy environments. The deadline of 1 July 2025 is fast approaching and will apply to properties that have not yet become compliant due to the length of a tenancy. It is also important to note that from the start of a new or renewed tenancy, landlords must comply with the standards within 120 days, except for insulation, which must be compliant before the tenancy starts.  Understanding these requirements and taking timely action is crucial to avoid potential penalties.

Understanding Healthy Homes Standards

The Healthy Homes Standards set specific and minimum requirements for rental properties in five key areas:

  • Heating: The landlord must supply one or more fixed heaters to heat the main living room. 
  • Insulation: Properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation that meet the minimum R-value levels.
  • Ventilation: There should be adequate ventilation in the form of windows or doors for each liveable space or extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Moisture and Drainage: Efficient drainage systems are required, and properties with enclosed subfloors must have a ground moisture barrier.
  • Draught Stopping: Any unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, windows, doors, and floors that cause noticeable draughts must be blocked.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Landlords who fail to meet these standards by the deadline are in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. The consequences are significant, with the possibility of exemplary damages of up to $7,200. Besides financial penalties, non-compliance can lead to strained tenant relationships and potentially more vacancies, affecting your overall return on investment.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

With the deadline only 12 months away, it’s crucial to start the compliance process immediately. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Conduct a Property Assessment:

  • Hire a qualified professional to assess your property against the Healthy Homes Standards.
  • Identify areas that need improvement and get a clear understanding of the work required.

Plan and Budget for Upgrades:

  • Based on the assessment, plan the necessary upgrades.
  • Obtain quotes from reputable contractors and create a budget.

Schedule and Execute the Work:

  • Prioritise critical upgrades that need more time and resources.
  • Schedule the work to ensure minimal disruption to tenants.

Keep Thorough Records:

  • Document all upgrades and keep receipts, certificates, and photos as proof of compliance.
  • Update your tenancy agreements with the Healthy Homes Compliance Statement.

Communicate with Tenants:

  • Inform your tenants about upcoming work and any necessary access to the property.
  • Ensure clear communication to maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship.

Act Now to Avoid Penalties

The clock is ticking, and waiting until the last minute can lead to rushed, substandard work and potentially higher costs. Acting now gives you ample time to ensure your properties meet the standards comfortably and avoid the risk of non-compliance penalties.

By prioritising the health and safety of your tenants through adherence to the Healthy Homes Standards, you are not only fulfilling a legal obligation but also enhancing the quality of life for your tenants, leading to longer tenancies and a more stable rental income.

If you need assistance with understanding or implementing the Healthy Homes Standards, our team at Vertigro is here to help. We offer comprehensive property assessments, detailed action plans, and connections to trusted contractors to ensure your properties are fully compliant by 1 July 2025.

Don’t delay – contact us today to get started on making your rental properties healthy homes!