Non-compliant Landlords could pay penalties to their tenants

Aug 2, 2018 | News

The Insulation Association of New Zealand (IAONZ) has been established, with the support of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), by representatives of some of the major manufacturers, suppliers and installers in the insulation secto

The primary role of the IAONZ is to establish nationwide performance benchmarks for the supply and installation of insulation. This is achieved through an IAONZ training programme, technical expertise into New Zealand Standards and supporting Association members.

The Quality Triangle is at the core of IAONZ and has guided our strategy. The triangle has three pillars;

• Quality Product

• Quality Training

• Quality Installation

All three of these aspects need to be satisfied in order to maintain the Associations goals which is an industry built on, and driven by, quality; if any one aspect is missing, the outcome will not be acceptable.

More than 100,000 landlords now have less than a year to comply with new insulation requirements for rented properties and face a fine of up to $4000 – which could be paid to the tenant – for not doing so.

The requirement to insulate ceiling and underfloor spaces of a rented property by 1 July 2019 is compulsory under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Surveys being carried out by IAONZ strongly suggest that over 100,000 still require ceilings and under floors to be insulated to the necessary standard.

“The big concern from the association’s point of view is simply the capacity of the industry to meet the demand of landlords to get homes insulated,” IAONZ President Stu Henwood says.

Members of IAONZ represent about 80% of New Zealand’s manufacturers and installers of insulation. The industry can insulate about 50-60,000 properties a year.

IAONZ members have only insulated approx. 40-45,000 rental properties over the past two years which suggests that landlords are leaving insulation to the last minute. In 2016, MBIE estimated there are 180,000 rental properties in New Zealand of which some would have been completed by competent DIY’ers. This leaves a significant shortfall to be completed in less than 12 months.

Stu states “There is confusion about how the Residential Tenancies Act and the new Healthy Homes Guarantee Act, passed in December last year, work together. Many landlords wrongly think they can hold off complying with the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) insulation regulations and wait for more regulations under the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act.

Stu states “Landlords must insulate the ceilings and underfloor of their rental homes by 1 July 2019 under the RTA, no matter what other legislation is expected.”

Stu continues “Most landlords do not realise that if they are fined $4000 for not complying with the insulation requirements of RTA the $4000 could go to the tenants as exemplary damages. Landlords will get a real fright.”

Some landlords might have done the insulation themselves, but DIY may not cut it.

“It’s not enough to stick your head up in the roof space of a property and say the ceiling and underfloor are insulated. The insulation must meet a certain standard, be installed correctly to NZS 4246 and meet fire safety and other regulations. Our members are experiencing a significant number of queries from Landlords, however we are gravely concerned that all properties simply won’t be able to be completed in time,” Stu says.

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