Keeping your investment property safe and dry

Upcoming changes to the tenancy laws, which aim to make rental homes warmer and drier for tenants, come into effect on 1 July.

As a landlord, you need to be aware of what your obligations under the new laws are. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your property manager for further advice.

Smoke Alarms

  • From 1 July landlords will need to have working smoke alarms installed in all their residential rental homes. Any replacement alarms installed after that date will need to have long life batteries and a photoelectric sensor. Hardwired smoke alarms are also permitted.
  • Tenants will be responsible for replacing worn-out batteries in the smoke alarms and informing their landlord of any defects.


  • All residential rental homes in New Zealand will be required to have insulation to keep a home warm in winter and cool in summer. Social housing (where tenants pay an income related rent) must be insulated by 1 July 2016 and all other rental homes by July 2019. This includes underfloor and ceiling insulation, meeting the required standard where it can practically be installed.
  • Landlords will be required to provide a statement on the tenancy agreement for any new tenancy commencing 1 July 2016 about the location, type and condition of insulation in the rental home.

Other changes

  • Strengthened “retaliatory notice” provisions, to increase tenants’ confidence in exercising their rights, together with strengthened enforcement provisions for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to act in the most serious cases
  • Changes to enable faster resolution of tenancy abandonment cases, to allow rental properties to be re-let more quickly.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment,