Treehouse health & safety

Question from Lucy updated on 2nd August 2017:

My tenant has built a treehouse on common land shared with other units in the complex. They did not ask me first, but I became aware of the treehouse as they were building it. Other unit owners are now complaining it is a health and safety issue for children if they fall off and all owners could be held liable. Do I have any health and safety obligations related to this? &, if so, would it be best for me to ask them to take it down?

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

When a tenant lives in a property that is subject to Body Corporate rules, those rules also form a part of the tenancy agreement. Common land does not usually form a part of the premises covered by the Tenancy Agreement, therefore you will need to check with the Body Corporate Committee to see if the construction falls within the rules and what your obligations may be.

It may be helpful to seek independent advice about your obligations generally under the Unit Titles Act 2010 and any health and safety legislation. It may also be helpful for the Body Corporate to seek similar advice if needed. For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to or subscribe to our e-newsletter Landlord News at

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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