Insulation in rentals
New rental regulations start next month. If you are a renter or landlord it's a good idea to check if your house is up to standard.
Here are the basics of what you need to know.
From 1 July this year ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental properties is required where reasonably possible. Exceptions may include where there is not enough space under the floor or in the ceiling.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to meet the regulations.
Insulation requirements for ceiling and underfloor
If the ceiling insulation was installed before July 2016 then it should be at least 70mm thick. If the insulation is still to be installed, or was installed after July 2016, it needs to be at least 120mm thick.
For both thicknesses the insulation needs to be in good condition and without gaps.
For the underfloor, most insulation products except foil will meet the requirements. If the house does have foil it will have to be removed and replaced with underfloor insulation. It is illegal to repair or replace foil due to the risk of electrocution.
Tenancy agreements and insulation statements
All tenancy agreements since 2016 should include an insulation statement. If this does not show the required insulation, or you are concerned the insulation doesn’t meet the requirements, try to have a look if possible.
If there is an issue, let Tenancy Services know and they will investigate. Landlords can be fined up to $4,000 and the money is usually paid to the tenants.
More regulations due
In the next couple of years further regulations are being introduced, such as requirements to have bathroom extractor fans and a kitchen rangehood, sorting drainage issues, reducing draughts, and having a heater in the lounge suitable for heating the space to 18°C.
For further information on the regulations check with Tenancy Services at www.tenancy.govt.nz or phone 0800 836 262.
The Dunedin City Council’s Eco Design Advisor service can also provide practical advice. For more information, and to book a free assessment of your home, visit the city council website at www.dcc.govt.nz or email email@example.com or call 477 4000.
Need some help or advice? The Valley Project runs a weekly drop-in clinic on Tuesdays from 10am to noon. They can give advice about issues such as cold and damp, heating, insulation and mould problems. No need to make an appointment just call in at the community rooms, 262 North Rd.
—Eco Design Advisor Dunedin City Council Lisa Burrough