A key change to the Residential Tenancies Act to help with warmer, drier, safer rental homes is the insulation requirements. There now must be underfloor and ceiling insulation in all social housing rentals (where tenants pay an income-related rent) from 1 July 2016. All other rental properties, subject to a few exemptions, must be insulated by 1 July 2019.
All new tenancy agreements must now declare the level of insulation in the property. Landlords may be able to get a grant of up to 50% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation if their tenant qualifies for Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes.
Grants are now available for low-income tenants. To qualify, the house must be built before the year 2000 and the main tenant needs to:
- have a Community Services Card
- be on a low-income (without a Community Services Card), and have a referral from a GP, hospital doctor or practice nurse for a respiratory condition
- be referred by a Ministry of Health Healthy Homes provider.
Visit www.energywise.govt.nz for more information on grants and to find a service provider in your area. Please allow time for EECA’s service providers to respond, due to potentially high levels of interest.
Download the latest Residential Tenancy Agreement, which includes a section for the statement on insulation, from the Tenancy Services website.