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FAQ Landlords

Please see below an outline of requirements as set out by tenancy services, energysafety and to ensure compliance with relevant electrical legislation, as it has been noted that most Property Managers and Real Estate Agents are not informing clients of their legal obligations


 Can i do wiring on a property i rent out?

NO. You can do some work on your home’s wiring, but... You must own and live in the property you are working on.


 Can i fix appliances in my rental property?

NO.

  • You, or a close relative, must own it. 
  • It must be for use by you or a close relative. 
  • It must not be for commercial or industrial use.


Landlords must comply with all relevant legislation

Landlords must comply with all legislative building, health and safety requirements. This means keeping the plumbing, electrical wiring and anything to do with the structure of the house safe and working properly. 

15A Fittings and appliances at rented residential premises

(1) A landlord of residential premises must not provide any fittings or appliances under or in connection with a residential tenancy if the fittings or appliances are electrically unsafe.

(2) A landlord of residential premises must not allow any person to use any fittings or appliances provided by the landlord under or in connection with a residential tenancy if the fittings or appliances are electrically unsafe.

(3) A landlord of residential premises must provide the occupier with adequate instructions for the safe use of any fittings or appliances provided under or in connection with a residential tenancy.

(4) A landlord commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a level 2 penalty if he or she provides fittings or appliances, or allows another person to use fittings or appliances that are provided, under or in connection with a residential tenancy, knowing that, or being reckless as to whether, the fittings or appliances are electrically unsafe.

(5) In this regulation, landlord has the meaning given to it in section 2(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

26 When fittings and appliances in use deemed to be electrically safe

(1) This regulation applies to a fitting or appliance, other than an electrical medical device, that is in use, or available for use,—

(a) by an employee or contractor of the owner of the fitting or appliance; or
(b) by a hirer or lessee under a hire or lease agreement with the owner of the fitting or appliance; or
(c) by the occupier of premises that are rented or leased from the owner of the fitting or appliance.

(2) A fitting or appliance described in subclause (1)(a) is deemed to be electrically safe if it has a current tag issued in accordance with AS/NZS 3760.

(3) A fitting or appliance described in subclause (1)(b) or (c) is deemed to be electrically safe—

(a) if it has a current tag issued in accordance with AS/NZS 3760; or
(b) if, at the time it is first made available for use by the hirer, lessee, or occupier, it is supplied with electricity through a portable RCD, or through a circuit protected by an electrically safe RCD, that provides protection from electric shock.

(4) A fitting described in subclause (1)(b) or (c) is deemed to be electrically safe if it is a fitting that is part of an installation and it complies with AS/NZS 3019.

 

40 Safety checks of works

(1) Every owner of works must establish and implement a safety checking system that complies with subclause (2) for regularly checking the electrical safety of the works.

(2) The safety checking system must—

(a) require that the works are checked for compliance with all the requirements of regulations 41 to 46; and
(b) provide for periodic checking of the works—
(i) at reasonable intervals; and
(ii) by a person who is suitably qualified and has the necessary competencies and experience to carry out the check; and
(c) require records to be kept of the results of every periodic check.

(3) A person who owns works commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a level 2 penalty if he or she—

(a) fails to comply with subclause (1); or
(b) fails to carry out the checks required by a system established and implemented in accordance with this regulation.

(4) A person who operates works commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a level 2 penalty if the works have not been checked as required by a system established for the purposes of this regulation, and the person knows that the works have not been checked, or is reckless as to whether the works have been checked.

 

WorkSafe has more information on the health and safety obligations for Landlords. 

 

Landlords must comply with all relevant legislation

Landlords must comply with all legislative building, health and safety requirements. This means keeping the plumbing, electrical wiring and anything to do with the structure of the house safe and working properly. 

 

Smoke alarms are compulsory in all rental homes.

Landlords must have the right type of smoke alarms installed in the right places to meet new regulations which came into force on 1 July 2016.

All new or replacement smoke alarms must be long-life photoelectric smoke alarms with a battery life of at least eight years that meet the required product standards, or a hard-wired smoke alarm system

Both landlords and tenants now have responsibilities to keep smoke alarms working. Never damage, remove or disconnect a smoke alarm – that includes removing the batteries.

A landlord who fails to comply with smoke alarm obligations is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000, while a tenant who fails to comply with their responsibilities may be liable for a penalty of up to $3,000.

These regulations apply to any residential rental covered by the Residential Tenancies Act including rental homes, boarding houses and rental caravans, sleep-outs and similar.

 

If a landlord has installed the equipment to receive digital television, the landlord is required to repair and maintain that equipment.

If a property is not equipped to receive digital television, the landlord is not obliged to install or upgrade the equipment to receive it.

If a landlord agrees or wants to install the equipment during a tenancy, they’ll need the tenant’s permission before entering the house to complete the work. This includes if they want someone to do the work for them. When carrying out the work, they need to respect the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

 

The Residential Tenancies Act does not cover who is responsible for light bulbs.

However, if the landlord supplies light bulbs and the tenant takes them at the end of the tenancy, or damages them intentionally or carelessly, the tenant may be responsible for replacing them.

If the light bulbs remain in place but have blown, responsibility is less certain. Standard light bulbs may be seen as consumables and replaceable by the tenant, or may be seen as fair wear and tear and replaceable by the landlord.

Non-standard light bulbs – which may be more expensive or are tricky to fit – may be the responsibility of the landlord. If a light bulb of this kind blows, it’s likely to be treated as fair wear and tear.

 

Landlords should consider how tenants can heat and ventilate the house

Landlords don’t have to provide heating in every room, but they do have to provide a form of heating in any living room. To get advice about what is an approved form of heating please contact your local council.

You can help provide a warm comfortable home by making sure the house has enough power points for your tenants to plug in their own heaters.

Ventilation is also important. You should think about how you can make sure the tenant can ventilate the house while keeping it safe and secure. Window stays can be good for this.

Inadequate heating and ventilation can lead to mould growth and dampness. See our page on mould and dampness for more information on how to minimise or prevent it.

 

Landlords are responsible for maintenance

If you’re a landlord who provides heating and ventilation for your rental property, you’re responsible for maintenance. If there’s a useable fireplace, the chimney needs to be safe and regularly cleaned (check your insurance policy). It’s best to permanently block off unusable fireplaces to prevent tenants using it and to reduce draught.

Landlords are also responsible for regularly servicing ducted heating and ventilation systems.

 

Tenants cannot affix anything to the property, or renovate or make alterations or additions to the property, unless the landlord agrees. That is, the changes must agree with what’s in the tenancy agreement, or the landlord must give written consent first.

Before the tenancy ends, the tenant can remove any of their fixtures, unless this would cause irreparable damage to the premises or the agreement from the landlord was conditional upon it remaining and becoming the property of the landlord at the end of the tenancy. Fixtures are things that are fixed in position (such as garden sheds, spa pools, heat pumps, security alarms or lights, clothes lines and panel heaters).

Any fixture put up by a tenant and not removed at the end of a tenancy becomes the property of the landlord. But this doesn’t apply if a different agreement exists, or the landlord has led the tenant to believe that the tenant can remove the fixtures after the tenancy ends.

If the tenant causes damage when removing the fixtures, the tenant should tell the landlord. The landlord should then tell the tenant whether they want them to repair the damage, or negotiate compensation.