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Landlord insulation deadline: Assessing your property

Published: 17 May 2019

If you own a rental property, make a note in your diary for 1 July 2019. According to the Residential Tenancies Act, by this date all rental properties need to have ceiling and underfloor insulation, or the landlord will risk a penalty of up to $4000.

Find FAQ about assessing your property below. 

For a quick 101, here’s a video guide on insulation rules and there’s also a list of resources to help you at the end of the article.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this Residential Tenancies Act legislation apply to live-in landlords?

No. If you’re living in your house and rent out one room to a flatmate, then that isn’t covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. (Though the landlord and flatmates can choose to opt in and be covered – that’s known as ‘contracting in’).

What if I can't fit insulation in my house?

There are some exceptions where properties cannot be insulated or would require major renovations to do so. For example, apartments with a habitable space above/below them; houses constructed on concrete slabs or houses with skillion roofs.

If this is the case, landlords need written confirmation from an experienced professional providing reasons why insulating some areas is not reasonably practical or possible. (Professionals to ask for confirmation include insulation installers or builders). This confirmation would then be included in tenancy agreements.

More information on exceptions to insulation regulations.

What do I do if the insulation meets requirements?

You’ll need to do one of these three things:

  • Fill out the insulation statement form – and attach it to the tenancy agreement stating that your property complies with the standards.
  • If you don’t want to use the form, then you can attach a report from a professional insulation assessor.
  • If you use a Tenancy Services tenancy agreement, the insulation statement is already incorporated into the form, so you can fill it out online or in hard copy.

Now you’re good to go!

Can I assess the insulation levels myself?

Yes! No need to hire a professional, you can inspect the insulation levels by physically looking in your ceiling cavity and underfloor area.

Energywise.govt has useful videos on how to check your insulation:

Tip: If you’re worried whether the insulation complies with the minimum performance requirements, ask a reputable insulation installer to make an assessment.

What insulation is acceptable and what isn’t for ceilings?

There are different deadlines for insulation standards, so you’ll want to plan ahead.

  • By 1 July 2019 – your ceiling insulation needs to be 70mm
  • By 2024, new regulations are coming in and your ceiling insulation will need to be 120mm

If you’re currently upgrading or installing your insulation, we recommend getting your insulation to 120mm now to avoid getting work done twice.

What insulation is acceptable and what isn’t for underfloors?

All on board? Moving onto the floor.

Foil underfloor insulation is adequate under the RTA provided it has no gaps, rips or damage.  Landlords are prohibited from repairing or replacing existing foil insulation and should have it removed and replaced with non-foil insulation that meets the NZ Building Code.

Can I install insulation myself?

Yes, you can!

Be aware that there need to be safety gaps between insulation and heat sources like recessed downlights, chimneys, flues or extractor fans for fire safety

What support is available?

You can apply for financial assistance to heat or insulate your home through the Auckland Council Retrofit Your Home programme.

Extra tip – with so many landlords insulating properties at the moment, there’s currently an insulation supply shortage. So, we suggest you contact insulation providers and installers to get on the waiting list as soon as possible!

This is the second a series about insulating your property, find out more information on what the requirements mean and how to insulate

All the resources

General insulation information:

Details and specifics: 

Assessing insulation:

Installing insulation: 

 

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