A professional insulation installer installs insulation in a rental property

New Zealand’s Insulation Regulations – What to Know

Rental properties are a heavily regulated business. Many policies exist to protect tenants and landlords alike, and Udy Realty is here to help those in the property rental business make sense of the red tape.

Tenancy Services, the New Zealand government department that provides information on the rights and responsibilities of renting, recently announced new regulations requiring that accepted floor and ceiling insulation be present in all New Zealand rental properties. These new regulations are descended from the Residential Tenancies Act and the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act of 2017, which empowered New Zealand’s department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to develop standards to improve rental housing quality throughout the country. The Residential Tenancies Act protects tenants and landlords in tenancies for all residential rentals.

What exactly do these new insulation regulations entail and how will they affect you? Continue reading to learn more.

When do the insulation regulations take effect?

All New Zealand rental properties will be required to contain accepted floor and ceiling insulation beginning 1 July, 2019.

For those in social housing, paying rent as a proportion of their income, these insulation requirements went into effect back in July 2016. For those whose tenancy began later than that, landlords have been given 90 days to verify compliance with the regulations.

The insulation requirements going into effect this year will be updated via the Healthy Homes Standards from 1 July 2021, and all rental properties must meet these Healthy Homes Standards no later than 1 July 2024.

For insulation installed prior to July, 2016

Not all insulations will require an upgrade to meet the updated requirements. Insulation should be free of mould, dampness, and gaps. However, if any of the insulation is inadequate condition, the replacement insulation will need to meet the updated requirements.

For insulation installed after July, 2016 or for tenancies with now insulation

The requirements are adjusted nationwide to coincide with three different climate zones. Areas of colder climate (the South Island and inland areas of the North Island) will require heavier insulation while areas of warmer climate (Northlands, Auckland) will have lower “R-value” (thermal resistance) requirements.

How do you meet the insulation regulations?

Regardless of your rental property or the last time you worked on the property’s insulation, it would be wise to reassess your property’s insulation to ensure that you comply with the updated requirements.

Consult with a qualified, professional insulation installer to assess your current insulation conditions, and how best to meet the updated requirements. Cost will vary for these updates, but installers will typically charge about $3,400 for a 96 square metre property. Be sure to consider the cost-per-square-metre of the insulation product before purchasing, and factor that with the installation charges from your professional installer.

Penalties for noncompliance

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in a fine that will be paid to the tenant. If a tenant knows that the property, they’re renting does not meet these insulation regulations, they can report to the Tenancy Tribunal in any of their eleven locations. The Tenancy Tribunal may then impose a fine of up to $4,000 on the landlord.

Work with a realtor that can navigate regulations

Don’t be afraid to seek help if tenancy regulations seem overwhelming. Harcourts Udy Realty are leaders in North Shore property Management, helping many landlords and tenants stay up to date on the policies and requirements governing New Zealand rental properties. Don’t wait for expensive compliance penalties to arrive before taking action. Contact Udy Realty today.