Housing Improvement Regulations 1947

Published on: 24 Jul, 2023

Our property management sector has been focused on the healthy homes standards for several years now, however it’s important to note that since 1947 and the introduction of the Housing Improvement Regulations, houses have been required to meet minimum standards of fitness and landlords must comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises.

We have included an abbreviated version of the Regulations below:

Minimum standards of fitness for houses

Any house shall have the following:

a) an adequate room used, intended to be used, or capable of being used as a living room;
b) a kitchen or kitchenette;
c) a room used, intended to be used, or capable of being used as a bedroom;
d) a bathroom;
e) a water closet, or, if for any good reason that cannot be provided, some other form of privy, for the exclusive use of the occupants of the house; and
f) if the house accommodates, is intended to accommodate, or is capable of accommodating more than two persons, adequate provision for washing clothes.

Living Room
Every living room shall be fitted with a fireplace and chimney or other approved form of heating.


There shall be in each kitchen or kitchenette—

a) an approved sink with a tap connected to an adequate supply of potable water; and
b) adequate means of preparing food and of cooking food, both by boiling and by baking.

There shall be provided for each kitchen or kitchenette adequate space for the storage of food, so placed, fitted, and ventilated as to protect the food from flies, dust and other contamination, and from the direct rays of the sun.


Every bathroom or water closet compartment shall have as one of its sides an external wall in which is fitted at least one window directly opening to the external air unless other adequate means of ventilation are provided to the satisfaction of the local authority.


  1. The site of every house shall, to such extent as the local authority deems necessary, be provided with efficient drainage for the removal of stormwater, surface water, and groundwater. No house shall be occupied which is built on land which is not adequately drained or which is subject to periodic flooding in times of normal rain.
  2. Every house shall be provided with gutters, downpipes, and drains for the removal of roof water to the satisfaction of the local authority.
  3. Under every part of every house where the floor is of timber construction there shall be adequate space and vents to ensure proper ventilation for the protection of the floor from damp and decay.


Every house shall be free from dampness.


The materials of which each house is constructed shall be sound, durable, and, where subject to the effects of the weather, weatherproof, and shall be maintained in such a condition.
The walls and ceilings of every habitable room, bathroom, kitchen, kitchenette, hall, and stairway shall be sheathed, plastered, rendered, or otherwise treated, and shall be maintained to the satisfaction of the local authority.

Every room in every house shall be adequately floored so as to have a washable and durable surface, and every floor shall be kept in a good state of repair free from crevices, holes, and depressions.

Every house and all the appurtenances and appliances of every house shall at all times be kept in a state of good repair.

Recent Tenancy Tribunal orders are referencing the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 if the Healthy Homes Standards compliance date has not yet been reached for a rental property, in particular, heating in the living room, drainage and that every house shall be free from dampness.

Source: https://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1947/0200/latest/whole.html#DLM3505