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Warm toes - happy tenants

13 February 2019

Hopefully my weather forecast isn’t right, and it’s not raining as you read this. However it’s a good time now to think about insulating for the winter. It’s nice to be able to light your fire, and not have the heat leave the room within minutes of the fire dying down.

Compulsory insulation

For landlords, from 1 July 2019 ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install. Landlords can face a fine of up to $4,000 if these new standards are not met.

If a rental property already has insulation in the ceiling and underfloor, this does not mean that the minimum requirements have been met. Checking for mould, dampness or gaps in the insulation are ways a landlord can ensure the insulation is in a reasonable condition. As insulation ages it can lose its ability to keep in the warmth.

Minimum standards

Both the ceiling and underfloor insulation must also meet the minimum R-values, ‘R’ standing for thermal resistance. Minimum R-values vary depending on where the rental property is located in New Zealand. In the South Island, the ceiling must meet R 3.3 and underfloor R 1.3

All insulation and where it is located must be disclosed in all new tenancy agreements including the type and condition of the insulation. Otherwise a landlord can face a fine of up to $500.

Fire alarms

From 1 July 2019 landlords must also have fire alarms installed which must be

  1. Photoelectric, and
  2. Have a battery life of at least eight years or be hard-wired.

If you have any questions about the new laws, please contact our property team.