Insulation – your new legal obligations

We’d like to make sure you understand the recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act on insulation. We know most landlords want to stay within the law and do the right thing by their tenants.

You must include an Insulation Statement on all new tenancy agreements signed since 1 July 2016.

You must now disclose in the Insulation Statement whether there is insulation, where it is, what type and what condition itis in. This is so your tenants can make an informed decision. A landlord who does not make a complete insulation statement or includes anything they know to be false or misleading is committing an unlawful act. Find out more about how to write up your Insulation Statement.

You must insulate your rental home where practicable – ceiling and underfloor – by 1 July 2019.

The insulation must comply with the new regulations and be safely installed. Good quality insulation helps make your rental home healthier for tenants and more energy efficient. A landlord who fails to comply with the law by 1 July 2019 is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000. Our new Compliance and Investigations team will make enforcement a priority. Find out more about the law on insulating your rental home.

We advise you to get the work done now to avoid a rush before the deadline, as there will be no excuses for missing it.Hiring a professional to do the job will be safer and make it easier to meet your legal obligations. There can be serious safety risk to both landlords and tenants if it’s not done properly. Find out more about insulation safety.

There are a limited number of government grants available to landlords to cover 50% of the cost of the insulation. These are on a first come,first served basis, if you meet these criteria:

  1. Your named tenant holds a Community Services Card, and
  2. The house was built before the year 2000.

Find out more about the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes grants.

Landlords and other homeowners may also be eligible for help from their local council. A number of councils allow you to add the cost of insulation to their rates and pay it back over about nine years.

We recommend you shop around now for an insulation professional –some offer discounts in the summer months. A professional can also help you to write up your insulation statement properly.

To be sure you stay within the law and avoid penalties, we urge you to act now.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Watson
National Manager, Compliance and Investigations
Tenancy Services, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment