Gavin Lowe Energy is working with Landlords on Healthy Homes Heating & Ventilation
If you are a landlord then you will most likely already be across your obligations to your tenant/s and your rental property. As of the 1st July 2021, the Healthy homes legislation requires any new or renewed tenancy agreements to comply with the Healthy Home standard within 90 days.
We have been working with Landlords and Property Managers on meeting these Healthy Homes Heating and ventilation standards and are well versed in what these are.
How we can help
To find out the heating capacity required for a main living room of your rental, landlords need to use the Heating Assessment Tool and the Ventilation Assessment Tool that can be found on the Tenancy Services website (see our link below). You can do this yourself, or you can engage an assessor who can do this for you. It is worth considering completing the assessment yourself, the assessment tool is very straight forward and easy to use.
Once this assessment has been completed, a heat pump capacity size will be calculated, and from this we can then quickly provide you with a quote to supply and install the required heat pump. We have a specific range of heat pumps available at exceptionally competitive pricing that will achieve your obligations at a reasonable cost.
At Gavin Lowe Energy we can also assist you with your Healthy Home Heating assessment if required for a small fee of $40.00.
Ventilation improvements that require rangehoods and extract fans can also easily be arranged.
Healthy Homes Heating Standard
Landlords must provide one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. The heater(s) must be acceptable types, and must meet the minimum heating capacity required for your main living room. The standard has been set in order for minimum indoor temperature of 18˚C is able to be achieved even on the coldest days of the year.
All private rentals must comply with all healthy homes standards, including the heating standard, within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy on or after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024. Landlords that don’t meet their obligations under the healthy homes standards are in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. They may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $7,200.
What is the heating standard?
There must be one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room.
The main living room is the largest room that is used for general, everyday living – for example a lounge, family room or dining room.
Heater(s) must be fixed (not portable), and must be at least 1.5 kW in heating capacity and meet the minimum heating capacity needed for the main living room. This capacity can be calculated using the Heating Assessment Tool or the formula outlined in the regulations.
Heater(s) must not be an open fire or an unflued combustion heater, e.g. portable LPG bottle heaters. If you use a heat pump or an electric heater as part of your solution to meet the healthy homes heating standard, it must have a thermostat. You can’t use an electric heater (except a heat pump) if the required heating capacity for the main living room is over 2.4 kW, unless you’re ‘topping up’ existing qualifying heating that was installed before 1 July 2019.
If you have existing heating
You don’t need to add more heating if you have one or more existing heaters that:
- were installed before 1 July 2019
- each have a heating capacity greater than 2.4kW
- meet the requirements in the standards (for example, not an open fire or an unflued combustion heater)
- are not electric heaters (heat pumps are acceptable) if the required heating capacity for the main living room is over 2.4 kW, and
- have a total heating capacity that’s at least 90% of what you need to meet the required heating capacity.
If an existing heater is a woodburner, it will likely have a label stating the heat output. Landlords can also check the manufacturer’s information or council records for information on the heat output of their woodburner.
Central heating will meet the standard as long as:
- it provides heat directly to the living room (e.g. through vents, ducts or radiators)
- it meets the required heating capacity.
Top up existing heating
If you’re adding a new heater or heaters to a room with existing heating, each heater must meet the requirements in the healthy homes standards, with one exception. If your existing heating doesn’t have the required heating capacity, you can add a smaller fixed electric heater to ‘top up’ your heating. If you do, you must meet all these conditions:
- you installed your existing heating before 1 July 2019
- the required heating capacity is more than 2.4 kW
- the ‘top up’ you need is 1.5 kW or less.
For example, if you have a heat pump with a heating capacity of 3.3 kW, but you need a total heating capacity of 4.5 kW, you can add a fixed 1.5 kW electric heater with a thermostat to meet the standard.
Exemptions to the heating standard
There are specific exemptions to the heating standard. The exemptions are:
- where it is not reasonably practicable to install one or more qualifying heating devices.
- where the rental property is a certified passive building.
It is not reasonably practicable to install heating devices if a professional installer can’t access the area without:
- carrying out substantial building work, or
- causing substantial damage to the property, or
- creating greater risks to a person’s health and safety than is normally acceptable, or
- it is otherwise not reasonably practicable for a professional installer to carry out the work.