The healthy homes standard is now in place with new requirements for ventilation, heating, insulation, moisture and draught stopping.

  • The deadline for these new standards is July 2021 for new tenancies.
  • If a tenancy starts after this date, rental properties will have 90 days to become compliant.

In today’s email, we will break down what the new standard is for each of those categories, and what our Uno owners should know now to get ready for compliance.


1. Ventilation:

What is the new standard?

  • Ventilation must include openable windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms, which must equal at least 5% of the rooms total floor area;
  • An appropriately sized extractor fan will need to be installed in the rooms with a bath or shower or indoor cooktop.

What can Uno property owners know and take action now?

  • Many rental properties will already have extractor fans, but if they don’t, property managers and owners should quickly establish if they have a switchboard capable of powering extractor fans in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • If the current switchboard doesn’t have the capacity, you may need to upgrade the switchboard before installation is required at an extra cost.


2. Heating

What is the new standard?

  • Rental properties must have a fixed heating device capable of achieving a minimum temperature of at least 18c in the living room only.
  • The fixed heating device can be either a heat pump or an electric heater, both of which will need to have a thermostat.
  • The fixed heating device must comply with Tenancy Service’s online heating assessment tool which asks for a number of parameters about the living room, including floor size, information about walls, floor, ceiling and windows.

What can Uno property owners know and take action now?

  • All owners are advised to work with your Property Manager to arrange for a professional to go into your rental property and obtain the measurements for the online assessment tool for compliance.

pic 2

3. Insulation

What is the new standard?

  • The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must either meet the 2008 Building Code, or (for existing ceiling insulation) have a minimum thickness of 120mm.
  • That means if a rental property is compliant with the 2016 Standard, it won’t need any additional work.

What can Uno property owners know and take action now?

  • The Healthy Homes Insulation Standard affects a new group of rental homes that were not required to retrofit insulation under the 2016 requirements.
  • These homes will have approximately 70-120mm of ceiling insulation currently. If a rental property didn’t need work to comply with the 2016 standards, they may need a top up to their ceiling insulation to 120mm.

pic 3

4. Moisture Ingress and Drainage

What is the new standard?

  • Landlords must ensure efficient drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If a rental property has an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier if it’s possible to install one.
  • Enclosed subfloor means that the airspace under the floor is enclosed between ground and floor level by walls which have only subfloor vents.

What can Uno property owners know and take action now?

  • Ground moisture barriers are an effective and low cost retrofit option for addressing what can be the largest source of moisture entering the home from outside.
  • Ground moisture barriers will be required regardless of existing subfloor vents as these homes are still likely to experience a benefit. Dollar to dollar, they are one of the most effective tools a homeowner can use to prevent moisture and mould entering the house.
  • Generally the barrier is a polythene sheet that can be bought from most building materials retailers, and stops all moisture from 1 metre underground entering the house.
  • It can be installed by a house owner or any building professional.


5. Draught Stopping

What is the new standard?

  • Landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts.
  • All unused chimneys and fireplaces must be blocked off.

What can Uno property owners know and take action now?

  • As a general rule, if a $2 coin can be slid through a gap, this will need to be filled.

This is a lot of information. We will keep our communication with you promptly on Healthy Homes standards. 

pic 4

Whats the next step?

  • Uno Property managers will be in touch with you shortly to discuss an independent 3rd party assessment of your property which will roughly cost $150-$200 plus GST;
  • It will probably a good idea to allow some budget depending on the condition of your property for the forthcoming compliance matters.