Community Housing Aotearoa says that insulation is only half the answer in improving rental housing and that you still need to heat the house.
"In fact it isn't even half the answer" says NZ Property Investors' Federation Executive Officer, Andrew King. "Not only do you need a source of heating, you need to turn the heating on and you need to know how to ventilate your home to keep it dry."
Members of Property Investors’ Associations around the country (see www.nzpif.org.nz for details) have already insulated 92% of their rental properties. However even when they install energy efficient heating, such as heat pumps, some of their properties still show signs of being cold and damp.
Members say that tenants are often not using their heaters and are inadvertently making their properties harder to heat. Examples of why this can occur are not opening curtains during the day to let sunlight heat their home, drying clothes inside and using unflued portable gas heaters.
"Insulation is a great first step, but heating and ventilation are just as important in creating a warm, dry and healthy home" says King. "Solutions need to be cost effective, otherwise rents will rise higher than they need to, making it even harder for tenants to turn on their heaters."
A University of Otago study showed that Government saves $5 for every $1 spent on insulation and heating. By making these items tax deductible, Government would reduce the impact on rising rental prices and make savings on health expenditure.
Forcing landlords to increase their existing insulation is expensive with little real improvement in efficacy. Making insulation compulsory with existing insulation at 1978 levels will result in warmer houses and far fewer rental price increases.
For further information please contact:
Executive Officer, NZ Property Investors’ Federation
Mobile: 021 216 1299