By 1 July 2019, all landlords need to ensure their rental properties have ceiling and underfloor insulation according to the Residential Tenancies Act or risk penalties.

Key points to know about the ceiling and underfloor insulation standards:

  • Failing to meet these standards by 1 July 2019 could incur penalties of up to $4000
  • Landlords may face separate damages for every property that doesn’t comply
  • The government can act against landlords (in the Tenancy Tribunal and District Court) without initial complaints or alerts from tenants

Why is this being done?

The Residential Tenancies Act address inequalities and the health of the city’s more vulnerable citizens. On average, rental homes are twice as poor in quality as owner-occupied homes; and with one-third of New Zealand households – nearly 600,000 – renting, it’s a serious and wide-reaching issue.

Owners are responsible for managing the quality of homes; and while many landlords maintain and upgrade their properties, there are those who don’t, leaving tenants living in cold, damp homes which can lead to health issues, including respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

With renting on the rise, poor housing standards are impacting an increasing number of people. The 2013 census showed that since 2001 there have been significant drops in homeownership for Aucklanders, especially among those in their thirties, forties, and fifties.

An added bonus

Insulating ceilings and floors also help to lower carbon emissions by requiring less heat to keep the house warm. Better-insulated houses are warmer, healthier and more energy efficient, contributing to Auckland’s low carbon goals to achieve better home energy efficiency.