• No extension for impending insulation requirements – landlords warned

    The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team says landlords will not be granted extensions to meet the 2016 insulation requirements.

    Landlords have just over one month to ensure their rental properties meet the requirements or face exemplary damages of up to $4,000.

    From 1 July 2019, a landlord who has not installed ceiling and floor insulation where reasonably practicable will be in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and may face the Tenancy Tribunal.

    “The RTA does not allow for extensions, and this would be unfair to those landlords who have acted in time to do the right thing,” said Peter Hackshaw, Acting National Manager, Tenancy Compliance and Investigations (TCIT).

    “The requirement to insulate was widely publicised in 2016 when the changes to the RTA were made, and Tenancy Services has worked hard to ensure landlords are aware of their responsibilities by running an extensive information and education campaign.

    “Landlords have had ample time and information to get the required work done and failing to comply is not only unlawful, it also exposes tenants to potential harm by not having a home that is warm and dry enough during the winter months.”

    Any tenant who feels that their landlord has failed to meet their responsibilities to have the correct insulation installed by the 1 July 2019 deadline can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order resolving that dispute.

    “The Tenancy Compliance and Investigation Team will continue to focus on landlords who systematically breach the Residential Tenancies Act by failing to properly install mandatory smoke alarms, provide insulation statements, and – following the 1 July 2019 deadline – install insulation.

    Insulating a property can be complicated work, and landlords need to get in quick to ensure their rentals are done in time as some insulation installers may already be booked up. Having a plan in place will not be enough to protect a landlord them from financial penalties.

    “With more and more New Zealanders renting, it’s important that landlords are meeting regulations and providing their tenants with warm, dry, safe homes. Where TCIT finds landlords failing to comply, we will act.”