Insulation and Smoke Alarms

Kiwi houses need to be warm, especially for family’s in low income areas. Initially, the government encouraged landlords to install insulation by offering an 80% subsidy. The owners who took advantage of this were the early adaptors. Now the govt. have reduced the subsidy to 50% and set a deadline for the 1st of July 2019. So the landlords who have not done it yet get a smaller carrot, and a bigger stick to get insulation installed. We don’t know yet if there will be a penalty for missing the deadline for the late adaptors, and I don’t know how the govt. will be able to monitor this.

The govt. have also made it a requirement to state in all new tenancy agreements the level of insulation in the house. If it is insulated, you will need to state to what R rating and whether it’s in the floor, ceiling and/or walls. R ratings differ in the south Island and the North Island. Here’s a tip for insulating: Swap all your down lights for LED bulbs. LED bulbs do not heat up, so you can lay insulation right over them for better coverage.

If the property is not insulated, you will need to state in the tenancy agreement what you plan to do about getting it done. I have sent several quote requests through to Green Star Energy Solutions since the 1st of July  to find out if my houses are insulated, as its never been something I have looked at as a property manager. I sign up between 6 to 12 tenancies a month, each new tenancy agreement will need this new information for each house. Its a lot of extra work.

There are services out there like Green Star Energy Solutions, who will asses the level of insulation in your house and supply a quote for insulation if required. They can also install HRV, Heat-pumps and smoke alarms. Their company is experiencing rapid growth in light of these changes.

Lastly, photoelectric smoke alarms need to be installed within 3 meters of each bedroom. If you have a 3 bedroom house, with the bedrooms located down a hallway. You will need one smoke alarm in the hallway located within 3 meters of each of the bedrooms. If there is a bedroom by the garage, then another smoke alarm needs to be installed within 3 meters of that bedroom. Do yourself a favor and get smoke alarms with a 10 year battery, so you don’t have to worry about tenants failing to change batteries every year.


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