Creating a Healthy Home

Choosing a house:

  • Check window ledges, walls, curtains and ceilings for signs of mould.   If the flat has just been repainted it might be to disguise mould, so ask your landlord specific questions about the flats history regarding dampness.
  • Flats are often let in summer when they look their best – imagine it’s the middle of winter.   How much sun do you get?   Can you safely dry your clothes?   Are there locks on the windows so you can ventilate the house while you are out?
  • Find out if there is any heating provided with the tenancy.   If there is a fireplace or logburner, ask if it is compliant and if you are allowed to use it.
  • If the landlord agrees to make any repairs or improvements, record them in writing on the tenancy agreement before you sign it and remember to keep your copy.
  • You and your landlord need to complete a property inspection recording the state of the property at the beginning of the tenancy.   During the first few weeks keep a list of anything new that you think needs to be on the report and then send a copy to your landlord.   If you want anything to be fixed then you will need to specifically request it in writing.


Living in the house:

  • Air flow in the house is important and keeping windows open during the day helps to ventilate.   Ask the landlord to install good locks on the windows so you ventilate without risk thievery. A little heating all the time is better than a lot of heating only at night.
  • Pull beds away from the walls and don’t lay mattresses straight onto the floor (this will create mould and possibly an expensive claim for replacing the carpet).    Ventilate wardrobes by leaving the doors ajar.
  • Keeping curtains open during the day and closing them as soon as the sun goes off the room will reduce the amount of heat that escapes.    Invest in a proper window wiper to easily wipe away condensation from the windows.
  • Un-flued gas heaters are dangerous!   1 litre of gas = 1 litre of moisture.   They also give off carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
  • Wash the shower curtain regularly to stop mould growing on it.
  • Try to avoid pots and pans boiling longer or harder than needed, drying clothes indoors, or steam from showers or cooking spreading through the house.
  • If you think that your flat is seriously breaching health and safety requirements, it may be appropriate for an Environmental Officer from the city council to complete an inspection.   They would send any recommendations to the owner.


Both you and the landlord have a part to play to get the best out of your home.
Community Energy Action is a Christchurch based charitable trust that have a lot of good information and products for improving insulation and heating in homes. You can reach them by phone:(03) 374 7222 / 0800 438 9276 or online:

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)