Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith announced today that the Residential Tenancies Act will be strengthened with new requirements for insulation and smoke alarms and better enforcement of those requirements.
He said the package of tenancy law changes will make homes warmer, drier and safer for hundreds of thousands of New Zealand families without imposing excessive bureaucracy or costs.
Thankfully, what this will mean is that some landlords (particularly those who are not particularly vigilant in repairs and property upkeep) will be forced to ensure properties are at least kept warm and safe and this act alone will certainly help property managers meet their moral and legal obligations to the tenants they serve as their customers.
RER Property Management Ltd have been serving the property investment industry for many years now and its welcoming to know that the government are being more supportive in this area.
Smoke Alarms will now need to be installed in all rental property from the 1st July 2016, although the responsibility for the batteries being checked and changed remain with the user (the tenant). As property managers, our concern regarding this change has always been the concern around who will be responsible for the changing of the batteries where it has been touted previously that the team from RER Property Management (or any property manager for that matter) will be responsible for batteries – so clarifying this has been a welcome clarification.
Also, insulation in houses will also be a welcome change to the warmth of housing in NZ. Property Managers, from the 1st July 2016 will need to record (and collect this information from the property owners/investors) the type and location of insulation in rental properties that are currently under management.
Having this information to hand will also assist us in renting the properties, as the tenant will now know which properties meet the minimum requirements ahead of those yet to comply.