How can I get my landlord to insulate the property?

Question from carlos updated on 3rd April 2009:

I am currently renting a house which has absolutely no insulation. I asked if he was planning to do anything about it, he said 'eventually'. Yesterday he called to say that he was getting the house repainted next week,when I asked about insulating he said 'next year'.Is it not reasonable to expect insulation to be done before painting? And do I have any privacy rights? (as painting will be 5 days a week for at least 6 weeks).

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Landlords are required to ensure the premises comply with all the relevant health, safety and building requirements. Some houses, depending on the age and type of the property, are required to have insulation. To determine if your premises are required to have insulation in order to be compliant, you can contact your local council. If your premises are not required to have insulation, then you could certainly follow this request up with your landlord. However, they would not be legally obliged to provide it.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) provides information about energy efficiency, and is currently offering landlords a subsidy on the cost of retrofitting a full house with insulation and other energy-efficiency measures for any of their rental properties occupied by low-income tenants.

To be eligible to receive the subsidy, several criteria must be met.
To view these criteria and for more information about the subsidy, visit www.eeca.govt.nz.

You may wish to pass this information on to your landlord. As a tenant you can expect to enjoy the premises without interruption by the landlord. Landlords must not interfere with your reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy during the tenancy. However, landlords can carry out necessary maintenance and repairs to the property, and may not be required to give notice or obtain the tenant’s permission when that work is only on the outside of the property.

If you have concerns about the work the landlord is proposing, I recommend speaking with your landlord to see if you can agree when it would be suitable to carry out this work. To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).


The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


 


 

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