Cabinet has approved new regulations detailing new insulation & smoke alarm requirements to implement changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Building & Housing Minister Nick Smith said: “These new tenancy regulations will make 180,000 homes warmer & drier by requiring insulation, and 120,000 safer by requiring smoke alarms. We are releasing the details of these new requirements now to give landlords & tenants as well as insulation & smoke alarm providers as much notice as possible to prepare for the new requirements.”
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was reported back to Parliament on 8 April. It requires rental homes to have smoke alarms by 1 July this year and insulation installed progressively by 1 July 2019.
Dr Smith said the most significant change to the draft insulation regulations was not allowing retrofitting of conductive foil insulation: “The risk with retrofitting this form of insulation occurs when the foil becomes live from accidental stapling into wiring, and has resulted in deaths in New Zealand & Australia. Other changes include expressing the required insulation levels in ‘R’ values rather than thickness, and requiring insulation to be installed in accordance with NZS 4246: 2006.
“The most contentious issue was whether homes that had insulation – but not up to today’s standard – have to be upgraded. These regulations are not going to require an upgrade because the costs exceed the benefits and, inevitably, the costs are passed on to the tenant.”
Attribution: Ministerial release.