Insulation Is Now Law

Insulation is compulsory in all rental homes covered by the Residential Tenancies Act from 1 July 2019, of course if you are reading this article we have passed the 1 st July 2019 deadline. The insulation guidelines were introduced with the new Healthy  Homes Act.

Below I will share with you what is and isn’t required plus what to do if you have not met the new insulation laws.

Firstly, lets make it clear that this is a new government law that has passed this is not a local council law or ruling, which makes it illegal not to follow the law around the new insulation requirements for all rental properties. You can be fined up to $4000 if you do not comply with the new insulation law. Please note this is only for rental properties not you own home.

What is required?

Ceiling and underfloor insulation must be installed where practicable on all rental properties under the new law and must meet the standards set out in the new regulations. Wall insulation is not compulsory.

If you are a landlord who already installed new insulation since 2016 this should already meet the 2008 Building Code, so you may not need to do anything further when the Healthy Homes Standards take effect. Please contact us if you are unsure.

The 2008 building code stated that the ceiling insulation must be at least 70mm thick and that if both ceiling and underfloor insulation are in good condition then no extra action was required. However, with the new Healthy Homes Standard this is now set at least 120mm thick.

We highly recommend checking your rental property or give us a call to discuss further.

If, however, you still haven’t insulated your rental property you need to act now, contact us asap. You are better off putting some sort of plan in place rather than leaving or ignoring it.

How to Meet the New Requirements

Existing insulation before 2016:
According to the Tenancy Government site, insulation is rated by how well it resists heat flow, measured by the R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. So if you installed insulation before July 2016 then these minimum rates apply.

Timber-framed homes:
Ceiling R 1.9
Underfloor R 0.9

Masonry homes:
Ceiling R 1.5
Underfloor R 0.9

If any part of your insulation is not in reasonable condition, then you must replace it with insulation that meets the new standard.

No existing insulation or installed after 1 st July 2016

The new Healthy Homes Act has created climate zones depending on the part of the country your rental property is situated. Each zone represents the R-values required to insulate your property.

Zone 1 – Minimum R-values
Ceiling R 2.9
Underfloor R 1.3

Zone 2 – Minimum R-values
Ceiling R 2.9
Underfloor – R 1.3

Zone 3 – Minimum R-values
Ceiling R 3.3
Underfloor R1.3

A qualified professional insulation installer can advise you on the best way to meet the regulations or talk to us.

Check out these businesses for all the details on insulation.

Insulation Association of New Zealand
Insulation installers in your area

Insulation statements are now compulsory with all new tenancy agreements from 1 st July

Even though the insulation regulations came into effect on the 1 st July 2019 it will also be compulsory to have an insulation statement for all new tenancy agreements after that date.

Landlords must disclose whether there is insulation in the rental property where it is, what type and what condition it is in.

If you do not make a complete insulation statement or include anything you know to be false or misleading it is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $500.

Overrun

With the deadline now passed there are still thousands of rental properties that do not have the correct insulation installed. As of December 2018 MBIE reports estimated there were between 126,000 and 220,000 houses left to insulate with industry capacity for 50,000 to 60,000 properties each year. This is creating a massive headache for insulation companies trying to keep up with demand. So if you are looking to insulate through a specialised insulation company expect massive delays.

Our advice is to either start the process now yourself or contact us to put a plan in place.

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