Provide a healthy, comfortable home for your tenants, and maintain and increase the value of your property.
Well installed, quality ceiling and underfloor insulation is important for the health and comfort of your tenants, but also helps to protect your investment.
Insulation helps reduce humidity levels, reducing the risk of damage to the property from mould and damp. It 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.
Is the insulation in your rental up to scratch?
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) now requires all landlords 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 it was installed.
Visit the Tenancy Services website for more information about the requirements.
You can check the insulation yourself, or get a professional to check for you.
Grants of 50% of the cost of insulation are available for landlords with low-income tenants.
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.
Foil insulation ban
Retrofitting or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is now banned under section 26 of the Building Act 2004.
Finding an insulation provider
Find out what questions to ask when choosing an insulation installer, and where to find trained installers.
For safety reasons, EECA recommends using a professional installer, but if you are installing your own insulation, read the New Zealand standard for installing insulation. The RTA requires all rental home insulation to be installed to this standard. Landlords could face insurance and liability consequences for faulty or negligent installation.
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.
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, ensure the house has enough power points for your tenants to plug in their own electric heaters.
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 eliminating moisture. Check they are clean and working properly when you are doing property inspections.
If your rental property has dampness issues, tackle them at source.
An outdoor clothes line in a sunny spot, on a verandah or under a covered carport or garage will discourage your tenants from drying clothing inside, which can cause dampness issues. If you provide a clothes dryer, make sure it is ducted to the outside.