Some changes to insulation under the new Healthy Homes Standards for NZ rental properties.
The coalition Government has just announced the new standards that apply to their Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that they passed during their first 100 days.
Given the 2016 amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act has already required that all rental properties must have ceiling and underfloor insulation where possible, substantial changes in the new Healthy Homes standards was not expected. There are however changes.
Under the 2016 RTA amendment existing ceiling insulation 70 -120 mm thick was acceptable. If any top-up is required it must be topped up to the 2008 Building Code level.
The BRANZ Housing Condition Survey 2015/2016 suggests that up to 26% of rental properties at that time had between 70 and 120 mm of ceiling insulation although a proportion will may have topped up to a higher level since.
There is some time relief for these affected rental properties however. The regulations set in 2016 still come into force on 1 July 2019 however the new standard for homes where existing insulation is 70 - 120 mm only come into force progressively from 1 July 2021. With each new Tenancy Agreement after July 2021 - landlords have 90 days to comply with all 5 of the new Healthy Homes Standards. Should there be no change of tenancy agreement then the deadline is 1 July 2024.
The level of underfloor insulation required for rental properties has not changed however one of the new standards is the inclusion of ground moisture barrier to reduce rising damp. This vapour barrier is most cost-efficiently installed while also doing your underfloor insulation.