It has been well publicised that the housing stock in New Zealand is poor, with cold and draughty houses being the norm rather than an exception. Evidence shows that poor housing quality links to poor health of the occupants and Knauf Insulation welcomes the Government’s announcement to improve insulation levels in rental properties, so tenants across New Zealand can enjoy warmer and more comfortable homes.
The Government’s recently announced plans to make residential tenancy laws stronger include the requirement of landlords to provide ceiling and underfloor insulation and to declare the latest standard of insulation on tenancy agreements.
The changes now being proposed across New Zealand encourage property owners to install a greater level of insulation in the ceilings and under floors, ensuring that rental properties are healthier, more comfortable and energy efficient environment for tenants.
In comparison to other upgrades, installing insulation is a relatively low-cost improvement a landlord can make to their property.
The incentive behind the scheme is to ensure all homes are warm and healthy, making it less likely that tenants will suffer health problems that are inflicted by cold and damp environments. Such environments can cause asthma, and serious disease like rheumatic fever, common amongst children, elderly and those with poor health.
Further to the benefits to tenants, landlords could also benefit from a lower tenant turnover, as they are likely to stay longer in a rental property that is warm and cheap to heat.*
The announcement, which also included the installation of smoke alarms in all rental properties by July 2016, hasn’t yet recommended how much insulation should be installed in properties but Knauf Insulation recommends achieving the minimum ceiling thermal rating of R3.2 in the North Island and R3.6 in the South Island and central plateau, and R1.8 for under-floors in all regions, levels typically used in new construction.