Warning: insulation deadline looming
Tuesday 21 May 2019
Landlords take note: there’s only 40 days left to insulate rental properties before a $4,000 fine from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) comes into play.
By The Landlord
From 1 July 2019 ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental properties around New Zealand.
The insulation requirements were announced under changes made to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) back in 2016 and have been widely publicised.
But there are concerns that some landlords may not be up to speed in the area and that has prompted REINZ to issue a reminder of the looming deadline.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says it’s imperative that landlords, who haven’t already acted, take action now – particularly as stories are emerging about suppliers running out of insulation materials ahead of the deadline.
“MBIE has warned that it will be proactively checking up on landlords to ensure their rental properties meet the requirements under the RTA by the deadline.
“If they don’t comply they could be fined $4,000 and any landlords who still don’t comply after paying the penalty may face further action, according to MBIE.”
There has been some confusion over properties that will be demolished or substantially renovated in the coming months, and their insulation requirements, she says.
“If a landlord has applied for and obtained the necessary resource or building consents by 1 July 2019, they are not required to upgrade the insulation during the 12-month period beginning 1 July 2019.
“They must, however, comply by 1 July 2020, and existing tenants living in existing tenancies that fall under this exemption must be fully informed.”
REINZ is supportive of the insulation requirements as they will help to improve New Zealand’s housing stock and also improve the health and wellbeing of tenants.
But they need to support the industry to help ensure homes can be insulated in time, especially given there are potentially not enough insulators to meet the demand, Norwell adds.
Under the new requirements, landlords must also ensure that all new tenancy agreements include a separately signed insulation statement covering what insulation the home has, where it is, including the type, thickness or R Rating.
For further information about the insulation requirements, landlords should visit the websites of the Insulation Association of New Zealand, the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority or MBIE’s Tenancy Services.
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