Are you confident your Wellington residential rental property is compliant with New Zealand law? It may be time to crack open the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and check, as the MBIE team continue their investigations on landlords and property investors to ensure investment properties are up-to-date with the New Zealand legislation.
Should You Be Worried About MBIE?
The team at MBIE have the power to prosecute landlords who persistently and seriously breach rental property standards, and as the team manager Steve Watson of MBIE’s compliance and tenancy team puts it, “We serve as a reminder that we take breaches of residential tenancy law seriously and are working to crack down on poor landlord behaviour across New Zealand”.
Since last year, warning shots have been fired by MBIE as a reminder to landlords that they are running a business, and as such, have certain responsibilities and obligations to their tenants, causing numerous landlords and property management companies being the focus of their investigations.
Recent Law Changes To Consider
Laws On Smoke Alarms
Section 138A says all landlords must provide working smoke alarms with long-lasting batteries and a photoelectric sensor throughout the property and within 3 metres of each bedroom. Once installed, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries.
Laws Regarding Insulation
Under Section 13A(1A), all tenancy agreements must include a statement describing the location, type and condition of insulation installed. Failure to do so is treated as an unlawful act, and as such landlords can face up to a $500 fine for an incomplete tenancy agreement. Also keep in mind that after 1st July 2019 all rental properties must have ceiling and floor insulation installed.
So, What Should You Do?
Ensuring your investment property is compliant with the New Zealand legal standards required should be a high priority for Wellington landlords and compliance should be checked during your regular property inspections.
For us as residential rental property experts it’s fundamental that we have a good understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and so we take the time to ensure we’re up-to-date law amendments.