Propertyscouts Invercargill

New Rental Property Laws - What does this mean for Rental Property owners? - 11th Sep 2015

What do the new laws mean for Rental Property Owners, and for their tenants?

The upcoming changes to the Residential Tenancies Act means that landlords/property owners will have to install insulation and smoke alarms in their rental properties.

According to an article in the page Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith announced that the Residential Tenancies Act will be strengthened and new requirements for insulation and smoke alarms and better enforcement of those requirements.  He goes on to say "tenancy law changes will make homes warmer, drier and safer for hundreds of thousands of New Zealand families without imposing excessive bureaucracy or costs".

So what does this actual mean for rental property owners.  It means the new law that will come into effect for social housing 1 July 2016 and for rental housing by 1 July 2019, will be required to retrofit ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental homes.  There will be exemptions, such as where it is physically impractical to retrofit insulation due to limited space underfloor or inaccessible raked ceilings.

It also means from 1 July 2016, there will also be a new requirements for all landlords and property managers to state in the tenancy agreement the level of ceiling, underfloor and wall insulation to help better inform tenants.  It will aso make landlords and property managers responsible for ensuring an operational smoke alarm is in place, with tenants responsible for replacing batteries or notifying landlord and or property managers of defects.  Expects estimate the flow-on effect on rents for a property to increase rents about $3.20 per week.

For the full article go to

As property managers in Invercargill, we believe this to be a good thing for both the property owner and the tenants.  In Invercargill it certainly get's cold in winter, we have our Propertyscouts Tip to keeping dry and warm, but these changes will certainly help.  One of the biggest issues with managing a in Invercargill is property is unhappy tenants in cold houses in winter.  This means a landlord has a lot of tenant movement as tenancy agreement are not renewed, which leads to vacancy times and this does not create maximum return for the property owner.  At this stage the new law seems to be taking a practical approach from both the property owners viability and the tenants well being.  

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