The deadline for installing insulation in residential rental properties is quickly approaching! I can only imagine how busy some specialist insulation contractors are, and they are not being helped by the soaring summer heat making roof cavities far too hot to work safely. We had a big push last year to try to get insulation completed before the new year because we knew everyone would be starting to get busy and the wait time for insulation would just continue to grow. We were also visited by Tenancy Services last year to see how we were going with progress on getting all the properties insulated before the deadline. We were tracking well and only have a small number of properties left to get insulated, which is great news. Managing over 1200 properties, it was a big job!
For those who need a refresher of the guidelines for insulation investment properties, here’s a brief rundown of the requirements.
Initially, when the new requirements came out about insulation I felt a bit overwhelmed. There was so much information out there. I knew all properties had to have insulation by July 2019, but not much else about the requirements of the insulation. That was until Tenancy services released this gem. To read the whole document you can read it on their website at https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/insulation/ - but I will summarise the main requirements to provide more of an understanding of insulation in our investment properties.
Basically, any insulation installed post-July 2016, should have been at the required R-Value. The R-Value would have been displayed on the packaging. The required R-Value for Christchurch is ceiling R3.3 and underfloor R1.3.
For insulation installed prior to July 2016
A bit of investigation is needed here. It needs to be determined if the insulation is in at least reasonable condition with no damage, rips, gaps or dampness. Secondly, the insulation needs to be a certain thickness. For the ceiling, it is required that the insulation thickness is over 100mm in all places (except safety clearances). For underfloor insulation, it needs to be determined if the insulation is in at least reasonable condition and is in full contact with the underside of the floor.
There are some exceptions
If the roof space or floor space is inaccessible due to limited space, insulation is not required until that time major renovations are completed which will provide access to the cavity. However, if the roof cavity or subfloor space can’t be accessed because there is no designated access point, it is expected that one would be created.
Experts vs D.I.Y
For health and safety reasons, I recommend hiring an insulation specialist. They are the experts and know all there is to know about insulation. Not only that, they can often get insulation cheaper as they purchase in bulk. For the small price of $50.00 to get an insulation specialist to inspect your investment, you can have that peace of mind that your investment meets the regulations, and avoid any difficulties and fines after 1 July 2019.
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