Landlords - Why You Should Consider Insulating Your Rental Property

May 10, 2016

Is your rental property adequately insulated? If not, there is still time to take advantage of the subsidies available through the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes initiative although Government funding is due to come to an end next month.

Why insulation matters

Until recently, there have been no guidelines or regulations in place to ensure that rental properties are properly insulated. As a result, a large number of properties on the rental market are without insulation. Insulation helps heating systems work more efficiently by keeping warm air inside the home. Warm air, in turn, chases damp away. Without insulation, homes are vulnerable to damp and cold, two of the biggest culprits when it comes to respiratory problems. Sadly, many New Zealanders are suffering from respiratory problems that are caused or exacerbated by their living environment.

If you are a landlord, installing insulation will make your property more attractive to future tenants. Likewise, your existing tenants are more likely to stay put if the home is properly insulated and provides them with a healthy and warm living environment. Thanks to the funding options currently available, many landlords are now choosing to insulate their properties sooner rather than later.

How Do I Take Advantage of Subsidies

The people who are most vulnerable – young children and older adults – are two of the groups most likely to be living in homes without adequate insulation. To remedy this problem, the New Zealand government has created a program to encourage property owners to install insulation in the ceilings and under the floors.

If your property:
• was built before 2000 and
• your tenant has a Community Services Card and
• at least one occupant is under 17 years, over 65 years or has verifiable health needs

then you may be eligible to receive funding towards the cost of insulation.

Other options

You may be able to add the costs of insulation (and heat pumps in limited regions) to your rates.
Read more on the Smart Energy Solutions website:
Landlords - we can help insulate and protect your rental properties
Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

The upcoming proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)

As mentioned in the article above, it is proposed that the RTA be amended to include a requirement that all rental properties have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed by 2019. The Bill is currently awaiting its second reading in Parliament following recommendations by the Select Committee.

You can read some of our previous posts on this issue here:
Are the new changes to the Residential Tenancies Act achievable?
Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act - It aint no WOF
Is there a need for a Rental Warrant of Fitness?
WOF for Rental Properties Kicks Off in New Zealand
Rental Housing Warrant of Fitness

We recommend that you take advantage of government subsidies on offer now. With winter on its way, you have extra motivation to act now so you can provide your tenants with a warmer home this winter.

Photo credits
Img_2439 by J.Rodriguez, CC BY-2.0 

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