January 24, 2019

What happens after insulation is installed in my rental property?

Everybody is talking about insulation in rental properties – after all, from July 1 this year it’s mandatory.

NZ air quality monitoring company Tether claimed in a media release at the end of 2018 that insulation can worsen issues in homes by sometimes sealing in dampness. Tether is an app for homes which monitors air quality and provides live updates.

The company claimed in a media release that insulation can exacerbate the damp, stagnant conditions that lead to mould, mildew and respiratory problems likes asthma and pneumonia.

What’s actually true – and what Tether agrees on - is good insulation should go hand-in-hand with adequate ventilation and air exchange.

Here’s what Northland and Whangarei landlords need to know about underfloor insulation, minus the sales pitch from Tether:

As Energywise reminds landlords

  • There are two main types of underfloor insulation: bulk and foil insulation. Energywise recommends using bulk insulation. Retrofitting or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is now banned.
  • Bulk underfloor insulation can be made from polyester, wool, polystyrene, glass wool and a range of other materials.
  • Insulation must meet the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016.
  • Retrofitting foil insulation and repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is banned under section 26 of the Building Act 2004 due to multiple reported deaths in New Zealand caused by electrocution associated with foil insulation in residential buildings.

The new insulation requirements beginning July 1 2019:

  • Insulation statements must be included in all new tenancy agreements. Landlords must disclose whether there is insulation in the rental home, where it is, what type and what condition it is in
  • A landlord who does not make a complete insulation statement or includes anything they know to be false may be liable for a penalty of up to $500.
  • Rental properties (that don’t currently meet minimum levels of insulation) will need to be insulated to a level that is the same as the current building code insulation requirements for new homes.
  • Landlords must make all reasonable efforts to find out what insulation is in their rental property. This includes physically looking and/or engaging a professional to do an assessment

Essential bits and pieces to help Northland and Whangarei landlords comply with insulation rules:

For questions around getting insulation up to scratch, give the friendly folks at Rentals.co a ring.

Phone 09 4597139

PO Box 5043, 9-11 Reyburn St, Whangarei

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