The deadline for a change in law requiring all New Zealand rental houses, including boarding houses, to be properly insulated is drawing nearer.
The law, introduced to protect the health and wellbeing of tenants, requires all rental properties to be insulated by July 2019.
This requirement is already in place for Government-subsidised social housing.
Under the new law, landlords must ensure their rental properties, where possible, are fully insulated in the ceiling and underfloor areas.
They must also declare the standard of a property’s insulation on their tenancy agreements.
This law change is an important step in providing quality housing for tenants; houses which are warm, well insulated and well heated, thus reducing the risk of poor health due to poor housing.
The new law can also be good news for landlords, despite the fact that it might result in a hefty expense initially, by attracting good tenants and keeping them longer.
Harcourts’ property managers often see tenancy changes as the cold months get closer, with tenants not wanting to spend another winter in a cold house.
Well-insulated homes will also be more likely to attract tenants who are prepared to pay a little bit more for a warm, dry home.
Landlords may be able to get some funding towards insulating their rental properties, through the ‘Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes’ scheme.
Properties that may be exempt from the insulation requirements are those being demolished or substantially rebuilt within 12 months of a tenancy starting, and ones that are sold and immediately rented back to the former owner-occupier for up to 12 months.
As part of this law reform the Government has issued the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment with new powers to investigate and prosecute landlords who are not toeing the line, where there is risk to the health and safety of tenants.
To find out more, or to discuss your options, get in touch with the Property Management Team at Harcourts Nelson, or call 03 548 3034.
Other ways to look after the health and wellbeing of your tenants, and increase the value of your property:
- Ensure maintenance is kept up to date
- Check window coverings are adequate
- Make sure drafts are sealed
- Ensure good heating is provided (preferably in the form of a log fire or heat pump)