Landlords who haven't yet had their properties insulated to meet new standards may have missed their chance before Monday's deadline exposing them to a $4000 penalty.
Anthony Stone, general manager of Fletcher Building subsidiary Tasman Insulation, said although the company has no shortage of product, its installers have been booked out well in advance of the regulation change.
Stone said the company has seen a significant increase in demand for the well-known Pink Batts product to be retrofitted in rentals.
"We have sold over 50 per cent more glasswool insulation this year compared with the same time last year, and installed insulation in record numbers of houses for the past few months," he said.
For those properties that haven't yet met the standard, there is little chance they will be able to before the deadline.
The head of Auckland's largest real estate agency says about 200 rental properties the business manages will not be insulated in time to meet the Government's deadline on Monday.
Peter Thompson, Barfoot & Thompson managing director, has raised concern about the deadline looming and the number of non-compliant tenanted properties.
"Although there's been plenty of notice given about this, of the approximately 17,000 properties we manage, around 200 won't be compliant by July 1," Thompson said.
The insulation sector was simply not capable of insulating all the homes in time, he said.
"We've been waiting since last year for orders to be fulfilled and we're still waiting. We put in orders at the end of last year and we're still waiting for it to be done," he said of insulation jobs for Barfoot-managed rental properties.
"The biggest issue is the availability of insulation and people actually doing it," he said.
The approximately 200 uninsulated homes were spread across Auckland, Thompson said, and the value of each job was potentially thousands of dollars, he said.
"This change has been proposed for about 12 months and the many companies we've been working with are still backlogged to God knows how long," he said.
Barfoot was commissioning the insulation jobs directly, he said.
"We're responsible for all our property managements," he said of the need for those rental properties to meet legislative requirements.
Only a few landlords were refusing to comply, he said "and we won't be continuing to manage those properties."
Landlords who own more than 400,000 New Zealand residences have until Monday to comply with the Government's new insulation regulations.
Under amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, from the July 1 all properties must have installed ceiling and underfloor insulation or be liable for damages of up to $4000.
A survey of 650 landlords, conducted by the NZ Property Investors Federation, found that only 3.2 per cent of properties would not be properly insulated by July 1.
NZ Property Investors Federation executive officer Andrew King said of those who are not yet compliant, many have already booked the work and are waiting for installers to become available.
The insulation industry "can't just employ a whole heap of people and then let them go," he said.
MBIE estimated in 2018 that 33 per cent of private rental properties were not compliant with RTA insulation requirements.
Peter Hackshaw, acting national manager of MBIE's Tenancy, Compliance and Investigations, says the RTA does not allow for extensions to this deadline.
"Landlords have had ample time and information to get the required work done and failing to comply is not only unlawful, it also exposes tenants to potential harm by not having a home that is warm and dry enough during the winter months," he said.
Robert Whitaker, a spokesperson for Renters United agrees landlords have had enough time to complete the insulation upgrades.
"It's been four years where renters have sat in uninsulated hones while landlords have sat on their hands," he said.
Whitaker says having to go to the tenancy tribunal will discourage tenants from seeking damages, as the cost and effort may outweigh the damages awarded by the tribunal.
"It's a bit of nuclear option as it damages the relationship with the landlord. Tenants don't want to risk losing their home.
"In our experience the tribunal rarely rules on the high end of these disputes. So may award damages much less than $4000," he said.
Daniel Brunskill is an AUT journalism student on work experience with NZME.