Boarding house owner obligations

Question from Neil updated on 11th September 2017:

What items must the landlord of a boarding house provide to the minimum six residents? Toilet tissue, light bulbs, smoke alarm batteries, dish washing liquid? What does the resident provide? I know about the main things, like furniture, but what about the little things?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

The responsibilities of a landlord of a boarding house are spelled out in sections 66H, 66I and 66J of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Of the “little things” that you mention, the most important are smoke alarms. A boarding house landlord must ensure that these are installed and working at all times. If you are installing smoke alarms you must install those with a 10-year battery life.

Another major requirement is that the tenant’s room must be in a reasonable state of cleanliness and a reasonable state of repair. I suggest that a room without light bulbs is not in a reasonable state of repair.

For the other “little things” a bit of common sense and reason will answer your question… if you were in the tenant’s shoes, what would you expect to be provided?

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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