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Federation's survey challenges insulation claims

Almost 80 per cent of rental properties have some form of insulation, according to a survey by the New Zealand Property Investors Federation.

It follows news stories which revealed only 5% of the country’s rental stock had been insulated under the Government’s Warm Up New Zealand scheme.

NZPIF president Andrew King said that did not take into account rental property owners using other subsidy schemes, such has the federation’s, properties that already had insulation and those that found it cheaper to insulate without using the subsidy.

Of the 269 replies received by the NZPIF, representing 2246 rental properties, 1787 or 79.6% have some form of insulation.

More than half of the respondents who knew of subsidies available to insulate rental property had taken advantage of such a subsidy.

Many respondents had not taken up the subsidy, however, because approved installers had to be used in conjunction with the subsidy and this made it too expensive. Some respondents claimed that it was considerably cheaper to negotiate the purchase of insulation materials themselves and pay an installer directly to install it.

While 60% of respondents would prefer to receive a subsidy on the insulation materials and installation, 31% of these respondents said that the scheme was not working. Reasons included the total cost being too high and installers adding an extra margin that negated the benefit of the subsidy.

Respondents indicated that many more rental properties would be insulated if there was a discount or subsidy on insulation materials that they could then install themselves.

Green Party housing spokeswoman Holly Walker said the results should be taken with a grain of salt.

“A small, self-selected survey like that is not a representative sample, so it would be wrong to conclude from that that we don't have a major problem with cold, damp rental housing in New Zealand. It's good that members of the federation seem to be insulating their properties, but those landlords who are failing to provide adequate insulation and heating are probably less likely to be fee-paying members of an organisation like the property investors federation anyway.”

She said the survey did not reveal anything about the adequacy of insulation.

“There is a big difference between ‘some form of insulation’, which could include a bit of 30-year-old Pink Batts, and adequate, up-to-date insulation that meets EECA standards.”

Tags: andrew king - holly walker - eeca


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