Insulation Regulations July 2016
As you may be aware the government introduced new legislation on the 1st July 2016 making it a legal requirement for all tenancies that commence after the 1st July 2016 to have an insulation statement as part of the tenancy agreement advising the tenants if there is insulation in the property and the state of the insulation. Because the legislation was only passed a few days before the 1st July 2016 Landlords have 90 days to comply.
We have now been able to get guidelines from Tenancy Services and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand of what information is required in the insulation statement.
The new legislation requires that if the current insulation is not in reasonable condition it will need to be replaced or if there is no insulation in the property that is needs to be insulated to comply. This needs to be completed by 1st July 2019.
Failure to comply with the regulations is an unlawful act, and the landlord may be liable for a financial penalty of up to $4,000.
Furthermore foil insulation is banned
A ban on installing and/or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings with existing electrical installations has been issued under the Building Act 2004. It is an offence under the Building Act to breach this ban and anyone who breaches the ban may be liable to a fine of up to $200,000.
If the property currently has foil insulation that is in reasonable condition it does not need to be replaced. However, landlords may wish to consider replacing it due to the risk of electrocution.
If the foil insulation is damaged this will need to be replaced with insulation that meets the current requirements.
Determining whether insulation is in reasonable condition
For the purposes of these regulations, the following matters must be taken into account in determining whether any insulation is in a reasonable condition (or better):
(a) the extent to which the performance of the insulation is compromised by any aspect of the insulation’s condition:
(b) the extent of any dampness, damage, degradation, or displacement:
(c) the condition of any materials or other items that are ancillary to the installation of the insulation (for example, strapping or staples).
The following five categories of residential rental properties are excluded from the insulation requirements in the regulations:
- Where it is not practical to retrofit insulation because of the physical design or construction of the property, but only until such time as access to these spaces becomes possible. Where a landlord is unable to install the insulation to the required standards themselves they are expected to commission someone to do it on their behalf. The exclusion applies, in particular, where:
- an experienced professional installer of insulation cannot access the location to install the insulation without the removal of any cladding or lining or the carrying out of other substantial building work; or causing substantial damage to the premises
- an experienced professional installer of insulation cannot install the insulation at the location without creating risks to the health or safety of any person that are greater than the risks that are normally acceptable when insulation is being installed by an experienced professional installer of insulation; or
- it is otherwise not reasonably practicable for an experienced professional installer of insulation to install the insulation at the location.
- Where, within 12 months of the commencement of a tenancy, the landlord intends to demolish or substantially rebuild all or part of the property, and can provide evidence of having applied for the necessary resource consent and/or building consent for the redevelopment or building work;
- Where a property is purchased and immediately rented back to the former owner-occupier - in which case a 12 month exemption will apply from the date of purchase; and
- If a property does not meet the insulation requirements, but a landlord can provide evidence that when insulation was originally installed it complied with particular insulation requirements, for example an Acceptable or Alternative Solution, or was approved under the Verification Method, then it is excluded from requirements provided that the insulation is in reasonable condition; and
- Where the habitable space of another unit (e.g. apartment) is directly above or below a ceiling or floor, this area does not need to be insulated.