The Healthy Homes Standards officially became law on 1 July 2019, introducing specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
As of this date, ceiling and underfloor insulation became compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install, landlords must sign a statement of intent to comply with the new standards in any new, varied, or renewed tenancy agreements. You must also keep records demonstrating compliance with any Healthy Homes Standards that apply or will apply during the tenancy.
From next month, 1 December 2020, landlords need to include a statement of their current level of compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards in most new or renewed tenancy agreements. As of 1 July 2021, private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the Healthy Homes Standards in full within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.
With some of the standards already a requirement of the law, a pending deadline for landlords current level of compliance to be recorded, and next year’s deadline for total compliance, it is critical that landlords have an accurate grasp of how their properties measure up against the Healthy Homes Standards.
A comprehensive Healthy Homes Assessment provided by a qualified professional is the best way to ensure the level of detail required.
So, what should a professional Healthy Homes Assessment Report detail?
A comprehensive report should assess each individual standard to establish whether the property is compliant, providing detail such as:
- • Determine whether the ceiling and underfloor insulation meets the requirements of the insulation standard.
- • Provide the insulation’s R-value and, if known, the date it was installed and when it was last inspected, or the thickness of the insulation and, if known, the date when it was last inspected.
- • Specify any areas that aren’t insulated and detail why they are exempt, or detail actions that need to be undertaken to get the property up to standard.
- • Calculate the required heating capacity for the main living room of the rental property.
- • Identify and detail the qualifying heater/s installed in the main living room.
- • State any exemptions or top-up allowances for existing heaters, and describe why they apply.
- • Confirm all habitable rooms have one or more windows/doors/skylights that open to the outside, of a total area of at least 5% of the respective room, or identify this as an actionable issue.
- • Confirm all kitchens and bathrooms have an extractor fan that ventilates externally, or identify this as an actionable issue.
Moisture Ingress and Drainage
- • Confirm the property has efficient drainage for the removal of storm, surface, and groundwater, including an appropriate outfall, and that the system includes gutters, downpipes, and drains for the removal of water from the roof, or identify this as an actionable issue.
- • Identify any enclosed subfloor spaces, and state if they have a ground moisture barrier installed that meets the standards’ requirements. If not, this should be identified as an actionable issue.
Draught Stopping Standard
- • Identify any open fireplaces, and confirm whether they have been blocked off. If not, this should be confirmed in writing as acceptable to the tenant.
- • Confirm the property is free from any unreasonable gaps and holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts, or identify these as actionable issues.
The detailed report should clearly state whether the property is currently compliant with each of the five standards. If the property is not compliant, and an exemption or special circumstance applies, this information should be clearly detailed with all supporting documentation provided.
If the property is not compliant, and specific work needs to be undertaken to get the property compliant with the standards, specific actions should be provided around what needs to be done, so the owner has a clear roadmap to work through.
Need to get your rental compliant?
We provide Healthy Homes Assessments and cost-effective solutions for all five areas of the Healthy Homes Standards. This saves time for property managers and landlords and minimises disruption to tenants, reducing multiple contractors visiting them.
Our experienced and friendly team of assessors and installers are all employed in-house and can help you get ready for the upcoming deadlines quickly and efficiently.