Landlords will need to take action to insulate and install smoke alarms in certain rentals after a law change.

Rentals with no insulation will need to upgrade to 2008 standards by July 2019, unless it is physically impossible to put in ceiling and floor insulation.

Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the change would help thousands of tenants. "This measure is expected to lead to 180,000 properties being insulated by 2019 and to save 129 lives a year. Other benefits include fewer hospital admissions and fewer school days lost.

"Landlords must include in all tenancy agreements from 1 July 2016 a declaration of the level of insulation underfloor, in walls and in the ceiling."


One of the proposals in the draft regulations was a requirement for rentals which already had insulation to upgrade it to the new building standard, which was established in 2008.

The Government was criticised by opposition parties after that was decided against. Dr Smith said costs would be passed on to tenants, with data on ceiling heat loss showing such a change would have a marginal impact.

Labour leader Andrew Little has his own bill before Parliament, which would make it compulsory for all rentals to have insulation, heating and ventilation.