17 January 2018

The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team has successfully taken an Auckland landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal for failing to install smoke alarms, giving all landlords in this busy rental market a timely reminder to ensure their properties comply with smoke alarm legislation.

The Tenancy Tribunal has ordered Auckland landlord Arie Peter Sterk pay $2000.00 in exemplary damages for failing to have smoke alarms installed in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations. Mr Sterk has also been restrained from committing the same unlawful act for six years or will face further legal action.

Steve Watson, National Manager Tenancy Compliance and Investigation team, said this outcome serves as a strong reminder to all landlords that failing to comply with tenancy laws will not be tolerated.

“By failing to meet his legal obligations, Mr Sterk deprived his tenant of a warm, dry, and safe home, and put them at risk if there had been a fire,” said Mr Watson.

“It is important landlords realise not installing smoke alarms correctly isn’t only a legal compliance issue, but something that can have a very real effect on tenants.

“When a landlord rents a property, they must have at least one working smoke alarm on each level, either in each bedroom, or within three metres of the bedroom door,” said Mr Watson.

“Landlords are running a business and your rental property is your product - it must tick all the boxes when it is being offered to rent to the public. The best thing a landlord can do is download the Compliance Checklist from this website to ensure they are fully compliant with their obligations,” Mr Watson said.

The Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team was established following the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that came into effect on 1 July 2016. The Team focuses on significant or ongoing breaches of the Act which pose a significant risk to vulnerable tenants.

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