The Bill has passed and rental properties throughout New Zealand can welcome a positive shift towards an increase in warm, dry and healthy rental homes.
Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith recently commented: “This measure is expected to lead to 180,000 [rental] properties being insulated by 2019 and to save 129 lives a year. Other benefits include fewer hospital admissions and fewer school days lost.”1
The improved insulation levels will increase the thermal performance of rental properties and can make them more energy efficient, more comfortable and healthier for tenants. New Zealand has some of the highest rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses in the world, caused primarily by poor housing conditions.2 With the improvement on the quality of housing (both public and private), it will significantly reduce the demand on the healthcare system.
Not only will implementing mandatory levels of insulation improve the thermal performance of properties but it will also reduce energy bills. An insulated home will use approximately 20 per cent less energy than an uninsulated home.3
The compulsory insulation levels are in relation to the ceiling space and under floors, unless it is physically impossible to access either. Properties will undergo inspections in order to comply with the new standards, ensuring rental properties pass under the new Rental Tenancies Amendment Act.
The proposed levels of insulation are as follows:
Properties with existing insulation to meet:
Properties with no insulation to meet:
Thinkinsulation.co.nz recommends landlords and property managers meet or exceed current Building Code levels to future-proof the property.