The healthy homes standards introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
The healthy homes standards became law on 1 July 2019. Private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.
Some private rentals may have additional time to comply with the heating standard. This will depend on whether the property uses the new heating formula to calculate the required heating capacity for the main living room.
Unit titles partial exemption
If a rental property is part of building and the landlord does not own the entire building (they own a unit title), the landlord will be partially exempt from complying with parts of the standards if their ability to comply with the healthy homes standards is not possible because:
- they need to install or provide something in a part of the building where the landlord is not the sole owner, or
- they need access to a part of the building that they are not the sole owner.
Landlords must still take all reasonable steps to ensure the rental property or building complies with the healthy homes standards to the greatest extent reasonably practicable.
For the heating standard this means if the required heating capacity is over 2.4 kW, and after taking all reasonable steps, a landlord must install at least one qualifying heater that has a heating capacity of at least 2 kW. A fixed electric heater with a thermostat is an acceptable heater for this situation.
If one of these exemptions ceases to apply during the term of the tenancy, the landlord must comply with the healthy homes standards as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Find out more about the healthy homes standards on the Tenancy Services website(external link).
Jason is the landlord of a property that is part of a unit title development. The required heating capacity for the main living room of the property is 3 kW. The only reasonably practicable qualifying heater Jason could install would be a fixed heat pump. However, the body corporate’s rules prohibit the installation of external heating units on shared property without the consent of the body corporate.
Jason needs to take all reasonable steps to get consent from the body corporate to install the heat pump.
If Jason is not able to get consent, he would be required to comply with the heating standard to the greatest extent reasonably practicable, for example, by installing a different kind of qualifying heater that does not require an external unit, even if its heating capacity is less than the required 3 kW. In this situation if Jason cannot get consent for any other qualifying heaters then he can install an electric heater with a thermostat.