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  • Insulation

    What is the situation with insulation these days? One of our rentals (bought in 2014 at which point it had foil insulation with wool installed on top of it - nothing done to update it) is apparently having trouble.

    Tenant is complaining it is too cold in the property / damp.

    Two years we lived there before renting it out. Didn't notice any significant issue with mould build up. No more than any of the other places we've lived in anyways. Sure it's not the sunniest house in Auckland but we made it work since it was our first place - can't expect perfection right?

    The insulation definitely meets the minimum r-value, but it is "foil" which I understand is no longer allowed as of mid 2016. I am trying to work out if it is a requirement for to update this now? According to the wording on the tenancy site, it appears that so long as it's not broken or otherwise damaged in any way (which it doesn't appear to be), there is no requirement to replace it simply because the property is "too damp" is there?


  • #2
    I think you need to certify that your rental meets the standard - both in the roof and under-floor.
    Get it checked and if it's ok then that's all you need to do.
    If it's not meeting the new standard then you need to upgrade/ fix the insulation.
    "Damp" is not an insulation problem.


    • #3
      There is a lot of info at the below link, including a link to the insulation regulations. You don't need to upgrade foil insulation as long as it is in good condition, but not permitted to install it new.

      Because of the potential fine, payable to tenant, of up to $4000 it's a good idea to sort issues before July next year.

      Suggest measure and take dated pics of current insulation, print off the insulation template and fill it in. You can give a copy to the current tenants if you like but will need this for any new tenancy anyway.

      Since tenant is complaining best to get in front of this now.

      About dampness - this can cause damage to your property. You need to find out what is causing the issue and fix it if it is your responsibility, eg structural, leaking. See the below link that indicates where it is tenant responsibility. Suggest carry out an inspection and ask tenants specifically if they ever do any of the things in the list. If they do, or if you can see they do, document carefully and issue a 14 day notice to remedy, clean mould etc. And consider terminating the tenancy sooner rather than later if they don't change the way they are living.


      • #4
        Artemis, the house is already insulated (Ceiling, walls, floor). It's just that during the recent inspection by my PM, the tenant has complained that here is always "mould in the bedrooms" which I find odd. We lived in this home before renting it out and didn't notice any issues like this. But we were of course very vigilant about opening windows and running our dehumidifier. I mean I get it, it isn't the sunniest property in the world but we never had 'mould growing everywhere' like the tenant is suggesting.

        We had the bathroom (professionally) prepped & repainted recently because the paint was peeling on the ceiling above the shower (fair doos, it was 1.5 years old at that point). It's been barely 4 months and now the paint is peeling again.

        Also, the article you've linked states
        How to meet the insulation regulations

        Insulation is rated by how well it resists heat flow, measured by the R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.
        If ceiling and underfloor insulation was installed in your rental property before July 2016

        An upgrade may not be necessary provided the insulation is in reasonable condition (e.g. no mould, dampness or gaps in the insulation), and achieved at least the minimum R-value when the insulation was installed.
        Minimum R-values for timber-framed homes:
        • Ceiling R 1.9
        • Underfloor R 0.9
        Our insulation was installed before that date, has the adequate R values and isn't damaged - so I presume I am correct in assuming that I don't need to do anything to meet the new regulation. We've also got two heat pumps so we're good on that front too.
        Last edited by PotatoTopPie; 28-11-2018, 02:49 PM.


        • #5
          We recently removed the foil under our rental which we built in 2008 and replaced it with Greenstuff.
          Used to work for a company that supplied and installed heat pumps and insulation (no particular brand) and you should never put insulation over top of foil as it loses any effectiveness. Don't know why.
          My advise would be to remove the existing, take out the foil and replace the insulation.
          Don't think that makes any difference to mould though altho our tenant did notice the house seemed warmer. It was still mouldy in parts when he vacated, that was due to him being slack and not cleaning the mould when it appeared.


          • #6
            Yep, just organised the removal of the foil etc and replace with proper stuff. I honestly doubt it will do anything to reduce the mould in the bedrooms though... probably need some sort of ventilation system for that.... what kind of ventilation systems do you guys run? Worth going with the "big names" (i.e. HRV, SmartVent, DVS etc) or are they all the same same?


            • #7
              I just had notification from my Property Manager that a 'free' insulation compliance check had been done on the property and it passed. Thank goodness it was free as it was only replaced less than 12 months ago. Someone has set up a business to make some money off landlords!