Welcome to our September newsletter,
It seems we are finally leaving the depths of winter as the temperature slowly rises and the weather improves showing us brief but promising glimpses of the summer ahead.
Some of you may be aware that there have been some recent changes to the Residential Tenancies laws brought into force by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016. The Act has introduced new responsibilities for both landlords and tenants starting from 1 July 2016. These new rules relate to two main areas, fire alarms and insulation. Below we have outlined the new responsibilities relating to these two aspects.
Landlords are now responsible for the following in relation to fire alarms in residential tenancies:
- Ensuring that all smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of the tenancy or when they are initially installed. This includes ensuring that the alarms initially have working batteries.
- For installing and replacing fire alarms as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and comply with any other applicable standards.
- Replacing batteries in the common areas of boarding houses.
- To maintain all hardwired fire alarm systems.
The penalties for failing to comply with the regulations can be significant and Landlords may be liable for fines up to $4,000.
Tenants are now responsible for the following matters in relation to fire alarms in residential tenancies:
- Ensuring that batteries are installed in the alarm during their tenancy. In boarding houses the tenant is responsible for the replacement of batteries in their own room.
- Responsibility is limited to the replacement of the batteries in the fire alarm and not the working condition of the alarm itself.
- If a tenant renders a smoke alarm in-operative by removing the battery or by other means they can be liable for a fine of up to $3,000.
Landlord’s Responsibilities in relation to insulation of residential tenancies:
The act has also introduced responsibilities for Landlords in relation to the insulation of rental properties. Landlords are now required to ensure that all habitable areas of the home have sufficient ceiling and subfloor insulation. Where rentals have conductive insulation like underfloor foil, Landlords cannot make repairs to those products. If the old conductive insulation is damaged it must be replaced with a suitable product. Repairing conductive products is an offence under the Building Act and can carry a fine of up to $200,000.
If you have any questions about the new requirements under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016 please be in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.
In this Issue:
- Law Change Could Hit Volunteer Organisations
- Business is like sport – master the basics, success will follow
- Is your work challenging enough?
- Business lessons we can learn from the All Blacks
DAVENPORTS WEST LAWYERS LIMITED
Law Change Could Hit Volunteer Organisations
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