Tenants shouldn't be afraid to dob in landlords with uninsulated homes - Property Investors Federation

Landlords are being urged to ensure they have insulated their rentals ahead of a looming deadline. 

Tenants could be awarded up to $4000 if their home has not been insulated by Monday.

Andrew King, head of the Property Investors' Federation, says tenants should not be afraid to complain to their landlords if it has not happened.

"If they actually want the tenant and end the tenancy because they're complaining about the lack of insulation, they can be held accountable for that - and that's another $4000 in exemplary damages. So there's a lot of costs in not doing what you're meant to do."

The requirement was introduced in 2016 under changes to the Residential Tenancy Act. 

While it's unlikely 100 percent of landlords have insulated their rentals, King says the number dragging the chain has been exaggerated. Tenancy Services said in December only 67 percent of the country's entire stock of rental properties met the standards.

"We've actually done a study of our members, and around 3 percent of their properties aren't insulated, and around about 4 percent of [properties belonging to] people who are not members are not insulated."

Tenancy Services, a part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said at the time there wasn't the capacity in the industry to get all homes ready.

And some have been left uninsulated at the request of the tenant, King says.

"We have heard of people, tenants who didn't want the property insulated because they didn't want the rent to go up, so they wanted it delayed as much as possible. And I think... some have left it a little bit too late."