Mandatory insulation of rented properties from July 1

Mandatory insulation of rented properties from July 1

Wellington, May 27, 2019

(Image from Tenancy Services Website)

Landlords have just a month to ensure their rental properties meet the 2016 insulation requirements or face exemplary damages of up to $4000.

The new regulations come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Tenancy Compliance and Investigations said that there will be no extension.

From 1 July 2019, a landlord who has not installed ceiling and floor insulation where reasonably practicable will be in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and may face the Tenancy Tribunal.

“The RTA does not allow for extensions, and this would be unfair to those landlords who have acted in time to do the right thing,” Peter Hackshaw, Acting National Manager, Tenancy Compliance and Investigations (TCIT) said.

Ample time given

Mr Hackshaw said that requirement to insulate was widely publicised in 2016 when the changes to the RTA were made, and that Tenancy Services has worked hard to ensure landlords are aware of their responsibilities by running an extensive information and education campaign.

“Landlords have had ample time and information to get the required work done and failing to comply is not only unlawful, it also exposes tenants to potential harm by not having a home that is warm and dry enough during the winter months.”

Tenancy Tribunal

Any tenant who feels 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.

Mr Hackshaw said that the Tenancy Compliance and Investigation Team will continue to focus on landlords who systematically breach the Residential Tenancies Act by failing to properly install mandatory smoke alarms, provide insulation statements, and – following the July 1, 2019 deadline – install insulation.

“Insulating a property can be complicated work, and landlords need to get in quick to ensure their rentals are done in time as some insulation installers may already be booked up. Having a plan in place will not be enough to protect a landlord them from financial penalties.

 ”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,” Mr Hackshaw said.

Information on insulation requirements can be found on the Tenancy Services website (external link)

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