Residential Tenancies Regulations Finalised

The Residential Tenancies Act Regulations about smoke alarms and insulation have been finalised by Cabinet. The Regulations were developed in tandem with the other amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that are due to commence on 1 July 2016. The RTA Amendment Bill is due to have its second reading in early May. An education campaign conducted by MBIE will accompany the Act and the Regulations.

The final Regulations include, but are not limited to:

Insulation
• A requirement that rental properties managed by social housing providers must have appropriate insulation installed by 1 July 2016;
• All other residential rental properties will need to have the appropriate insulation installed by 1 July 2019;
• From 1 July 2016, installing conductive insulation will be banned; and
• Landlords who retrofit or install insulation from 1 July 2016 must meet certain prescribed standards. This is to avoid Landlords installing poor quality insulation in their properties prior to 1 July 2019.

Smoke Alarms
• A requirement that all residential rental properties have smoke alarms installed by 1 July 2016;
• A requirement that there be a minimum of one working smoke alarm in the hall or similar, and within 3 metres of each bedroom door in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
• In a multi-level unit, there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm on each level;
Self-contained caravans, sleep-outs or similar have a minimum of one working smoke alarm;
• The landlord must ensure that the alarm is operational at the start of each tenancy, but the tenant will be responsible for changing batteries (if required) during the tenancy;
• Where there are no smoke alarms, long-life photoelectric (or hardwired) smoke alarms will need to be installed; and
• Smoke alarms already in place do not need to be replaced with long-life photo-electric (or hardwired) alarms immediately, but rather only when they reach the end of their life in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date stated on the alarms.

Click here for the full Press Release

MBIE has released a document which details some questions and answers landlords, property managers and tenants may have about the regulations. Click here for this document.

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