Are you keeping up to date with the Residential Tenancies Act?

Are you keeping up to date with the Residential Tenancies Act?

If you are a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure you are complying with the rules and regulations regarding tenancies. At Property Guide 360, we update you if you sign up to our newsletter. Otherwise, here’s a summary of the two new regulatory updates you need to be aware of:

By 1 July 2016 all residential rental properties covered by the Residential Tenancies Act must meet the following regulatory requirements:

  • There must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm within 3 metres of each bedroom door, and in a self-contained caravan, sleep out or similar there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
  • The landlord is responsible for making sure smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy.
  • The tenant is responsible for replacing batteries (if required) during their tenancy.
  • In multi-story units there must be one smoke alarm on each level within the household unit.
  • Long life photoelectric smoke alarms are now required where there are no existing alarms. When existing smoke alarms are replaced, the replacements must be long life photoelectric smoke alarms.
  • Hard wired smoke alarms are also acceptable.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date stated on the alarm.

By 1 July 2019, all rental residential properties need to comply with the new insulation requirements:

All rental properties to have underfloor and ceiling insulation covering all accessible areas above habitable spaces. Ceiling insulation is to have a minimum thickness of 7 cm.

Some properties are exempt from this regulation. The government has estimated up to 100,000 homes will be exempt due to the limitations of the property’s physical design. If you are planning to demolish your house, you will be also exempt from this requirement.

It is estimated the average cost of fitting the ceiling and floor with insulation will be $3300. In some cases, it will be tax deductible depending on the specific circumstances. Check with your accountant.

More information can be found from the guidance note released by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. You can access it here.

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