Since the announcement last year of minimum standards being introduced for all rental properties, there has been a lot of demand within the landlord industry
for more specific directives as to what exactly these standards are to be. It is very well to make insulation and smoke alarms compulsory but
how much insulation and how many smoke alarms should be installed?
Over the last many months, the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation on behalf of all the Property Investors’ Associations around the country has
been actively engaging with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to lobby for reasonable levels of insulation and smoke alarm installation
with the view that while landlords have a responsibility over the health and safety of our tenants the commercial reality is such that an overly onerous
regime will not only increase rent but also force a decline in rental stock.
The Housing Minister’s announcement yesterday is a result of all the NZPIF’s hard work. We can now confirm the following information:
1st July 2016
Minimum of one working smoke alarm within three metres of each bedroom door.
Minimum of one working smoke alarm in a self-contained sleep-out, caravan or similar.
Minimum of one working smoke alarm on each level in a multi-level unit.
All new installations to be specifically long life photoelectric alarms.
Existing battery operated smoke alarms to be replaced by long life photoelectric alarms when the former fail/need to be replaced.
Installation in accordance with placement requirements identified in the manufacturer’s instructions AND
Minimum of one working smoke alarm in the hall or similar, within three metres of each bedroom.
Installation of smoke alarms to or above minimum standard and ascertaining that all alarms are operational at the start of each new tenancy.
Changing batteries during their tenancy so that the alarms continue to be operational.
1st July 2019 for complete insulation (unless the property is such that it is physically impossible to insulate)
1st July 2016 disclosure requirement in all tenancy agreements
Property with no existing insulation to be upgraded to 2008 building standards
Property with existing insulation to be up to 2001 building standards
Self installation is permissible but be aware of insurance and liability consequences
This Parliamentary Q&A document on The Residential Tenancies Regulation elaborates
on the summary points above. We strongly recommend that all landlords and property managers to go through this document in order to better prepare
the the incoming minimum standards.