Law changes for Landlords are now in force

From 1 July 2016 there are a raft of changes that affect landlords. Our team of property lawyers has outlined what you need to know…


  • Smoke Alarms – Landlords need to have working smoke alarms installed in all their residential 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.
  • Insulation – 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 have been insulated by 1 July 2016 and all other rental homes by July 2019.
  • Tenancy abandonment process:
    • The new law introduces an expedited process for a landlord to regain possession of their rental property when the property has been abandoned.
    • Landlords will not need to be present when the Adjudicator considers the evidence under this new process.
  • Enhanced enforcement function – The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will have greater enforcement powers.
  • Retaliatory notice – It is now an unlawful act for a landlord to end a tenancy in retaliation for a tenant exercising a right under the tenancy agreement, the relevant law, or by making a complaint relating to the tenancy. This is called a ‘retaliatory notice’ under the Residential Tenancies Act.

For assistance or advice regarding residential tenancy matters get in touch with one of our Hawke’s Bay based Solicitors.