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Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) Changes: what you need to know


From 1st of July 2016, changes to the RTA came into effect, requiring new standards of insulation and smoke alarms for all rental properties. Both landlords and tenants have a responsibility to ensure they meet the new standards, to ensure the property is legal and safe.


Smoke alarms

Landlords must have working smoke alarms installed in the property, within 3 metres of every bedroom door. In properties with two levels, smoke alarms must be installed on both levels.  Any replacement alarms installed now will need to have long life batteries and a photoelectric sensor. Hardwired smoke alarms are also permitted.


Tenants are responsible for replacing batteries in worn out smoke alarms, and must inform the landlord of any damages or defects.


Insulation requirements

Changes to the RTA now require all new tenancy agreements to include the location, type, and condition of all insulation in the rental property.  CEA can perform a free assessment, and provide a statement (a fee for the statement may apply).


As of July 2016, it is now illegal to install or remediate conductive foil insulation in residential and rental homes. Properties with foil insulation that is ripped, fallen or damaged in any way, must now be replaced with bulk insulation product.


Deadline: by July 2019

All rental properties are required to have ceiling and underfloor insulation, where it is physically possible to do so.


If your property already has insulation, and it meets the 1978 standard, no further action is required. If your property does not meet the 1978 standard, it will need to be insulated to the current, 2008 standard.


1978 Standard for Insulation

OKOver 100mm in all places (except safety clearances
May need topping upBetween 70-100mm in places
Requires retrofitBelow 70mm in places


Community Energy Action

0800 GET WARM (0800 438 9276)

+64 3 374 7222

299 Tuam Street, Christchurch


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