Renting or letting your home out

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Renting or letting your home out

You're more likely to have a fire when someone new is staying in your home.

If you're renting out your home to holiday-makers, ask these questions first:

  • Do I have working smoke alarms?
  • Have I tested my smoke alarms?
  • Do I have a fire extinguisher and do the tenants know how to use it?
  • Is my house number clear to read so that emergency services can find my home easily?

Smoke alarms in rentals

Most fire fatalities occur in rental properties without working smoke alarms.

You should have smoke alarms installed in bedrooms, living rooms and hallways. We recommend long-life photoelectric alarms (the battery doesn't have to be replaced for up to 10 years).

You can find more information in our guide to smoke alarms.

Landlord smoke alarm obligations

Landlords have a number of responsibilities when it comes to providing adequate smoke alarms in rental properties. You could be fined up to $4,000 for failing to meet these obligations.

Here are the key things to be aware of:

  • Working smoke alarms are required in each sleeping space or within 3 metres of each bedroom door.
  • In a self-contained caravan, sleep-out or similar there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
  • In multi-story units there must be one smoke alarm on each level within the household unit.
  • Landlords are responsible for making sure smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy.
  • Long-life photoelectric smoke alarms are required where there are no existing alarms.
  • When existing smoke alarms are replaced, the replacements must be long-life photoelectric smoke alarms. Hard-wired photoelectric smoke alarms are also acceptable.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date stated on the alarm.

Tenants

It's the tenants responsibility to maintain the installed smoke alarm(s), including replacing batteries (if required), for the duration of their tenancy.