Landlords required to insulate and install smoke alarms to rental properties

Minister of Building and Construction Nick Smith has announced new requirements to insulate rental properties.

Landlords will be required to insulate properties and install smoke alarms, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced.

Under plans to strengthen the Residential Tenancies Act all tenanted properties will require floor and ceiling insulation by mid 2019, while social housing which receives government subsidies will require insulation by July 2016.

From next year all rentals will also need to have smoke alarms, and Smith said that where new alarms were being installed they would have to be more expensive long-life smoke alarms which retail at around $40 each.

“Overall this package will see the biggest improvement in the quality of New Zealand’s older homes this decade than in any decade and it will see a half million New Zealanders, particularly those on low incomes, having a safer warmer and drier homes,” Smith told reporters in his office in the Beehive.

Labour dismissed the changes as a half measure while the NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) described the coming rules as “reasonably balanced”.

Other changes will be made to tenancy laws which will allow the government to sue landlords who commit severe breaches of the law, while the laws around abandoned tenancies will be modified to allow landlords to re-tenant properties faster.

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