Landlords

If you're a landlord you can provide a healthy, comfortable home and maintain and increase the value of your property.

Well-installed quality insulation is important

Ceiling and underfloor insulation is important for the health and comfort of your tenants but it also helps protect your investment. Insulation helps reduce humidity levels, reducing the risk of damage to the property from mould and damp. Insulation is also becoming an important factor in people’s decisions about whether to rent or purchase a property – and tenants are more likely to stay longer in a warm, dry house.

Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) mean that all landlords are now required to provide a statement on new tenancy agreements about the location, type and condition of insulation in the home.

In addition, all rental homes will be required to have ceiling and underfloor insulation by 1 July 2019 (where it is practical to retrofit). Rental properties that already have insulation must be upgraded if the ceiling and underfloor insulation is no longer in reasonable condition, or if it did not meet or exceed the required R-value levels at the time the insulation was installed.

For more information about the requirements, visit the Tenancy Services website.

Insulation requirements - Tenancy Services website

Find out if your rental property is insulated

You can check the insulation yourself, or get a professional to come and have a look for you.

 Checking ceiling insulation

 Checking underfloor insulation

Types of insulation

We recommend using insulation accepted for use under the Government’s Warm Up New Zealand programmes - these products have been tested by BRANZ.

 List of accepted insulation products

Retrofitting or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is now banned under section 26 of the Building Act 2004.

Current warnings and bans issued under the Building Act - Building Performance website

 Choosing ceiling insulation

 Choosing underfloor insulation

Finding an insulation provider

Find out what questions to ask when choosing an insulation installer and where to find trained installers.

 Insulation installers

Subsidies, discounts and payment options

Grants are available through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes for ceiling and underfloor insulation for low-income home owners and tenants.

You may qualify for a grant if:
  • the house was built before the year 2000, and
  • you own the home and have a Community Services Card, or
  • your named tenant has a Community Services Card.
Grants are also available for low-income households and tenants with high health needs if:
  • your income is just above Community Services Card level and you have high health needs related to cold, damp housing, or
  • you are referred by the Ministry of Health's Healthy Homes programme.

Properties owned by a Government agency do not qualify for the programme.

To register your interest in the programme and find out if you qualify, contact an insulation service provider in your area.

 Service providers with funding through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes

If you don't qualify for a subsidy, some councils assist by letting you add the cost of the insulation to rates payments.

 Payment options for installation and heating

DIY

For safety reasons, EECA recommends using a professional installer but if you are installing your own insulation, read this standard. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) requires all insulation installed in rental homes must now be installed to this standard. Landlords who install insulation incorrectly could face insurance and liability consequences for faulty or negligent installation.

 New Zealand standard for installing insulation

Heating, ventilation and damp proofing

Inadequate heating and ventilation can lead to mould growth and dampness in your rental property, leading to costlier maintenance. Consider how your tenants can heat and ventilate the house.

Heating

Landlords have to provide a form of heating in any living room. Relying on a plug-in electric heater will make it difficult and costly for your tenants to heat adequately, particularly if your rental property is in a colder area of the country, is poorly insulated or if the living room is reasonably large.

Providing a fixed heater with a higher heat output and lower running costs, like a heat pump, flued gas heater, wood or wood pellet burner, will enable your tenants to heat the living area effectively. It will also discourage them from using unflued gas heaters which can make a house damp and mouldy. For other rooms you can help provide a warm comfortable home by making sure the house has enough power points for your tenants to plug in their own electric heaters.

 Types of heater

Ventilation

Window security stays can help keep the property safe and secure, as well as ventilated. Properly sized and externally vented extractor fans in the kitchen and bathrooms are essential for getting rid of moisture. Check they are clean and working properly when you are doing property inspections.

 Ventilation

Heating and ventilation - Tenancy Services website

Dampness

If you know your rental property has dampness issues, tackle them at source. See our page on dampness for more information. An outdoor clothes line in a sunny spot, on a verandah or under a covered carport or garage will discourage your tenants from drying their clothes on indoor clothes racks, where they can cause dampness issues. If you provide a clothes dryer, make sure it is ducted to the outside.

 Dampness