Heating standards for rentals

Heat pump header

As the weather begins to get cooler, it is important for landlords to remember the need for appropriate heating in rental properties.

Until the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 comes into effect on 1 July 2021 with the requirement for fixed heating that can directly heat the main living room to at least 18 degrees Celsius, the Housing Improvement Act 1947, Regulation 6 applies. The Act advises that every living room shall be fitted with a fireplace and chimney or other approved form of heating. 

What is the heating standard?

According to advice from Tenancy Services the following are important to note: 

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • In most cases, the acceptable types of heater(s) will be a larger fixed heating device like a heat pump, wood burner, pellet burner, or flued gas heater. In some cases, e.g. small apartments, a smaller fixed electric heater may be enough.


For more information, refer to the Tenancy Service Heating Standards.

 For properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson, our property managers will work with landlords to arrange seasonal maintenance as required. For advice and more information contact one of our property managers.