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Lodge City Rentals safeguards against potential ‘cowboy’ insulation installers

Lodge City Rentals safeguards against potential ‘cowboy’ insulation installers

Hamilton, New Zealand Lodge City Rentals general manager David Kneebone said the Government's new legislation that will see all rental properties fully insulated by July 2019, will undoubtedly bring out "cowboys" looking to make a quick buck through installation contacts.

"If we take the same approach as Australia did when it introduced the Home Insulation Program in February 2009, contractors could be injuring and even killing themselves to quickly install insulation and keep up with demand," he said.

Kneebone is referring to four installers who died while installing insulation as part of the then Australian government's home insulation program – a programme that was criticised for being planned in haste and lacking safety guidelines.

He said to avoid the same fate in Hamilton, Lodge City Rentals is taking a proactive approach and is already in discussions with recognised and established insulation providers.

He said Lodge City Rentals had also formed an internal taskforce dedicated to planning and implementing the insulation project in preparation for the 2019 deadline.

While Kneebone says the "vast majority" of Lodge's estimated 3000 rental homes in Hamilton are insulated, he accepts that many of the homes built in the 1980s and previous eras must be bought up to scratch to meet the new legislation.

"We have always encouraged our landlords to insulate their rental properties for health and safety reasons and because it simply makes good business sense," he said.

Kneebone said he was pleased to see the idea of rental warrant of fitness' being pared back to focus on compulsory insulation with the warrant of fitness' proving too prescriptive to be reasonably attained.

"In my view, heating, ventilation, insulation and security are the four most important aspects of a safe and healthy rental property and so I do think it's a positive and more practical and pragmatic move by the Government to formalise the requirement for insulation."