Landlords now have just over one month to ensure their rental properties meet the insulation requirements made in changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) back in 2016.
From 1 July 2019, a landlord who has not installed ceiling and floor insulation where reasonably practicable will be in breach of the RTA and may face the Tenancy Tribunal.
That means they could be penalised with exemplary damages of up to $4,000 and they may have to pay separate damages for every property that doesn’t comply.
But MBIE’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT) are warning that the RTA does not allow for extensions.
TCIT acting national manager Peter Hackshaw says the insulation requirements have been widely publicised and Tenancy Services has worked hard to ensure landlords are aware of their responsibilities.
“Landlords have had ample time and information to get the required work done and failing to comply is unlawful.
“Allowing extensions would be unfair to those landlords who have acted in time to do the right thing.”
TCIT will continue to focus on landlords who systematically breach the RTA by failing to properly install mandatory smoke alarms, provide insulation statements, and – following the 1 July 2019 deadline – install insulation.
Hackshaw says that insulating a property can be complicated work but that having a plan in place will not be enough to protect a landlord from financial penalties.
Landlords need to get in quick to ensure their rentals are done in time as some insulation installers may already be booked up, he says.
“With more and more New Zealanders renting, it’s important that landlords are meeting regulations and providing their tenants with warm, dry, safe homes. Where TCIT finds landlords failing to comply, we will act.”
Tenants who feel that their landlord has failed to meet their responsibilities to have the correct insulation installed by the 1 July 2019 deadline can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order resolving that dispute.
Information on insulation requirements can be found on the Tenancy Services website.
Warning: insulation deadline looming
Landlords urged to act on insulation