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  • Welcome to our December Newsletter

    Putting your feet up for a well-deserved break is just what the doctor ordered! I hope you take a moment to chill-out and recharge your mojo with family and friends this summer.  I’m already excited about 2018, I’m going to be a Nanny again! Dylan and Ama are having a baby due beginning of March.

    A reminder that our offices will be closed from Thursday the 21st of December and re-opening on Monday the 15th of January. 
    If you are needing anything during this time, please drop us an email to michelle@theaccountsdepartment.co.nz and we will be in touch.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we’ll talk in 2018!

    Michelle xx

    Does your rental home meet the new insulation standards?

    From the 1st of July 2019 ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where reasonably practicable. You might think the insulation in your rental property complies with the Residential Tenancy Act regulations but it may not.

    Let’s start with the ceiling.

    If you can do it safely, get a ladder and check your roof space to see if you have insulation.

    If you have no insulation at all, you will need to install new insulation that complies with the regulations. If your insulation is less than 70 millimetres thick, you will need to top up with new insulation that complies with the regulations. If you’re unsure, talk to an insulation installer.

    If your insulation is thicker than 70 millimetres, you don’t need to do anything, provided the insulation is in reasonable condition. But if your insulation is below 120 millimetres, we recommend topping it up anyway.

    Reasonable condition means no missing areas, no gaps except around downlights and other heat sources, and no defects. If you have missing areas, gaps or defects you need to bring the insulation up to standard to comply with the regulations.

    Now the underfloor.

    If you have no insulation at all, you will need to install new insulation to comply with the new regulations.

    If you already have underfloor insulation it also needs to be in reasonable condition.

    Again, this means no missing areas, no gaps, and no defects.

    Insulation that’s damaged will need to be repaired or replaced with new underfloor insulation.

    If you have foil insulation, this is adequate as long as the top surface is still shiny and there are no rips, gaps or damage. There is a risk of electrocution with foil.

    Turn the power off before touching it.

    We highly recommend hiring a professional to remove foil.

    Damaged foil must not be repaired, it must be replaced with another insulation product. There are some exceptions to these rules these include houses without a roof or subfloor space; and houses with inadequate height in the ceiling or subfloor space.

    Talk to an insulation installer to find out if an exception applies or if you have any doubts or questions about your insulation. They understand the rules and regulations and can check and confirm your property complies.

    If you do need insulation, check if your rental property is eligible for a 50% subsidy. Find out more about tenancy law here.

    Kathy Paterson’s shortbread recipe
    I listen to Radio Live and they had this recipe on yesterday… I also have a soft spot for homemade shortbread.

    Favourite Shortbread with a dusting of raspberry powder

    Makes:  about 34 pieces

    250g butter, softened

    225g plain flour

    115g cornflour

    115g icing sugar

    1 tablespoon custard powder

    Heat the oven to 160C fan bake. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

    Cream the butter well. Sift together the flour, cornflour, icing sugar and custard powder with a pinch of salt.

    Sift again over the butter and fold in. Tip out onto your bench top and quickly knead together. The secret is to not over work the mixture. Cut in half.

    Roll each half into a cylinder about 2.5cm in width. Cut into 2cm slices and place on the trays. Press to flatten a little and prick each with a fork.

    Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the shortbread is a light beige colour. Turn trays halfway through baking for even baked shortbread.

    Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before storing in an airtight container.

    For Christmas – mix together 2 tablespoons icing sugar and ½ teaspoon Fresh As raspberry powder. Place in a fine sieve and sprinkle over the shortbread.


    A TAD Funny

    Tech Tip – Smart Phone Photography

    Heading on holiday? Or spending much needed downtime with your family and friends? Whether you’re selfie mad or would just like some interesting images to record your break, some inspiration never goes astray.

    Click on the image below to watch a three minute YouTube video to help you get more creative with your holiday photos.


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