Insulation Regulations For Rentals

NZ-Insulation-Regulations-Harcourts

Landlords are now obligated to provide warmer, drier and safer homes for their tenants. Any new, replacement or top-up insulation installed after 1 July 2016 in a rental home must meet the regulations that will apply to all rental homes from 1 July 2019. A landlord who fails to comply with the regulations is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000.

Insulation is one of the most effective ways to save energy in a home since it keeps it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And a warmer home is a drier, and healthier home. It is estimated that in one year a typical home can save up to $400 on energy bills by installing ceiling insulation. Adding underfloor insulation could save even more!

Recent studies in New Zealand have shown a link between insulation and health. The Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences study showed:

  • A significant drop in energy use when the houses were insulated.
  • Once the houses were insulated, they were drier and warmer.
  • People in insulated houses reported their houses were “significantly warmer”.
  • There was a significant improvement in the self-reported health of those living in the insulated houses compared to those whose houses were not insulated.
  • Adults and children in insulated houses reported visiting their GP less.
  • Adults and children in insulated houses reported that they were admitted to hospital less often for respiratory conditions.
  • Adults and children in insulated homes were significantly less likely to report sick days.
  • People living in insulated houses reported less visible mould inside their homes.

Who is exempt?

As New Zealand has many types of houses, the law allows for some exceptions to the insulation requirements, including where it is not ‘reasonably practicable’ to install insulation in certain types of property. These exceptions are not loopholes – they must be legally justifiable.

Due to the design or construction constraints of some property types, it is sometimes either not physically possible to insulate or would require major renovations to do so. Examples of types of properties that would meet exception criteria would be apartments where there is a habitable space above and below the apartment, houses constructed on concrete slabs where it is not feasible to install underfloor insulation, and homes with skillion roofs where there is no ceiling in place to install insulation above.

Other situations in which landlords may be exempted from the insulation requirements are:

  • Where within 12 months of the start of a tenancy, the landlord intends to demolish or substantially rebuild all or part of the property. In this case the landlord must, if requested, provide evidence of having applied for the necessary resource consent and/or building consent for the redevelopment or building work.
  • Where a property is purchased from and immediately rented back to the former owner-occupier – in which case a 12 month exception will apply from the date of purchase.
  • If a property does not meet the new insulation requirements, but a landlord can provide evidence that when insulation was originally installed it did comply with particular insulation requirements (such as the specifications outlined in the building consent or an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method) the property is excluded from new requirements, provided the insulation is in reasonable condition.

To read the full Insulation requirements, click here.

Client login makes selling easier

Harcourts-Client-Login

Paving the way, Harcourts use of technology allows for an easier and more informative selling experience for clients. One of our many technological improvements, client login, is a portal which gives clients 24 hour access to everything they need to know about what is happening with the sale of their property. This tool allows exclusive clients to remain up-to-date with the latest information on their listing.

“We appreciated that our clients wanted to hear about their property’s progress on the go and that it’s not always convenient for clients to meet face-to-face, and that’s what this portal is able to provide”, says Jason Wills, Harcourts Chief Information Officer.

Once registered, the agent then enables access to areas of the portal that will interest the client; allowing access to a range of data, documents and statistics on their listed properties.
The tool houses the marketing plan and calendar, marketing reports and feedback about a property. In addition to this, all of the documents relating to the property are held here, and the client can see how their property is performing on the various real estate portals where their property is marketed. They can receive reminders and alerts for events such as auctions or meetings and when a new document has been uploaded.

Selling property has never been easier, Harcourts tools allow for a stress-free approach to real estate. Thinking of selling? Contact us here for a complimentary market appraisal of your property.

Understanding the upcoming bright line test changes

bright-line-test-nz

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash confirmed that the election “promise” to extend the bright line test from 2 years ownership to 5 years will be enacted, effective for properties acquired after the date of Royal Assent. The intended purpose of extending the bright line test is to ‘dampen property speculation’ and make homes more affordable. The extension means that profits from residential investment properties which are bought and sold within five years will generally be taxable.

Current exemptions from the bright line test will remain. They include the sale of an owner-occupier’s main home, inherited property, or the transfer of property in a relationship settlement.

The extension to the bright line test will apply to residential investment properties purchased from the date on which the bill receives the Royal Assent, which is expected in March. Nash adds that the passage of the bill will also enable the Tax Working Group to factor the change into any consideration of a comprehensive capital gains tax.

Auckland Property Investors Association president Andrew Bruce has previously said that the changes will impact on property speculators rather than long-term investors. “The majority of property investors are in it for the longer than five years and are unlikely to feel massive levels of pain with the extension of the bright line test.

See more information on the bill, click here.

Apple recognises Harcourts custom apps across global web network

New Zealand Real Estate group Harcourts, has been selected from a world-wide category to be the first real estate company to be featured across Apple’s global web network with a case study showing how they have used Apple’s iOS technology to transform their business.

In recognition of their innovation and use of the iPad and iPhone to enhance client experience and drive greater efficiency for their business, Apple has produced a video and business case study about Harcourts’ work – an accolade reserved only for companies developing the most cutting edge business solutions using Apple technology.

Harcourts is the first company from the Australasian region, and the first real estate group world-wide, to be selected by Apple for this recognition.

Harcourts New Zealand CEO Hayden Duncan, says the custom suite of apps developed by Harcourts, is transforming the way they do business.

“By nature real estate is a mobile business. Agents are on the road, meeting clients, inspecting properties and showing homes.

“The power of Apple iOS inspired us to develop a suite of apps for our global network of sales consultants that would provide them with a full range of marketing, research and technological tools while they’re on the move. The apps save our consultants hundreds of hours per year by streamlining tasks and they help us deliver a great client experience.

“Take e-Campaign for iPad, for example. From the comfort of your living room, a sales consultant can help you build your ideal marketing campaign; displaying real-time market data from your local neighbourhood, visually showcasing the complete range of marketing options available, and booking everything into an online calendar so you know exactly what to expect every step of the way.

“Information is all stored digitally so there’s no need for paper forms or folders or for data re-entry back at the office, which means we can deliver a timely, professional, and consistent level of service,” says Mr Duncan.

Harcourts was selected above several other global real estate companies because they showed how Apple technology has enabled them to become game-changers in their industry.

“The integration of our apps both with third-party real estate data sources and the company intranet is key to our success. This means sales consultants have access to an unprecedented level of information from wherever they are providing a distinct competitive advantage,” explains Mr Duncan.

Mr Duncan says Harcourts’ focus is firmly on the future and innovation is at the forefront of everything they do.

“Client expectations are changing and it’s essential that we change with them. Technology is helping us to be more agile and responsive to our clients’ needs, delivering faster and more effective communication, and providing a seamless client experience overall.”

“Being able to launch our apps across multiple devices in multiple countries and integrate to our intranet is one of the key reasons we chose iOS as our platform.”

 

15 quick feng shui tips for good energy in your home

feng shui real estate

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of laws that aligns the arrangement of your home in relation to the flow of energy (chi). Based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what’s happening in our lives, it’s thought you can affect what happens to you by encouraging good energy and repelling bad energy from your home. Continue reading “15 quick feng shui tips for good energy in your home”

Top tips for applying for a rental property as a pet owner

pet owner rentals

Some property owners associate pets with added mess, damage and disturbance which can make it more difficult for pet owners to find a rental home.

However, many landlords are beginning to see the advantages of pet owners as tenants. They may be more responsible if they have a furry friend to look after and they may take even more care of the property.

But, when applying for a rental, pet owners will almost always face competition from people who don’t have the worry of animals. This can be a difficult situation, but we know pet owners deserve just as much of a chance! That’s why we’ve put together these application tips — they’re just a few extra ways that will help you get a look in if you have pets.

  1. Be honest

Never try to pretend you don’t have pets — we will find out! And it might be a problem down the line. Tell us your situation when you’re first looking for a property and we’ll be able to work to your situation.

  1. Tell us more!

The more you can tell us about your pet, the more likely an owner will be to choose you. What breed? How old? Long or short hair? Do they stay at home during the day? Where do they sleep? Do they make a lot of noise? Write it all down and attach to your application — you could even add a photo!

  1. Include pet references

It may seem silly, but references for your pet will go a long way. You could ask a previous property manager or landlord, your vet, doggy day care or pet trainer to put a few good words together about the behaviour and character of your pet.

  1. Understand the agreement

Tenancy agreements can include a pet clause outlining what will happen in the event of damage caused by pets. They may request the full four weeks’ bond as cover. Make sure you understand the implications and speak to your property manager if you’re unsure.

  1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

It doesn’t hurt to ask — a property may be advertised as “no pets”, but exceptions can sometimes be made. If you can deliver on the above points, landlords may be encouraged to choose you.

 

We love animals and we don’t think you should sacrifice finding a good home just because you have pets. Our number one piece of advice is to stay in touch with your property manager — we can understand your situation and work hard to find you a place that suits you (and your furry companion!) down to the ground.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about our property management services.

 

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