What are landlords's responsibilities regarding heating?

Christine asks:
(updated on Tuesday, December 21st 2010)

What are the requirements regarding providing heating facilities in a rental? My rental has an aging portable gas heater which I have been told may be unsafe so I want to remove it and am considering not replacing it. The rental company has also "recommended" installing a heat pump and DVS......that would be nice but even my house doesnt have those items. Exactly what are my responsibilities?

Our Experts Answer:

Landlords have an obligation to ensure the premises are maintained in a reasonable state of repair, and comply with all the relevant health, safety, and building regulations. If the heater was provided as part of the terms of the tenancy, the landlord has an obligation to ensure it is maintained. If the heater is no longer safe to use, the landlord may be required to replace it with another form of heating of a similar capacity to ensure the terms of the tenancy agreement are adhered to.

Any amendments or variations to a tenancy agreement (e.g. no longer providing a heater, if a heater was included as part of the original agreement) need to be agreed on by both the landlord and tenant.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) provides information about energy efficiency. You may wish to view information regarding the Government’s insulation and clean heating programme on their website www.eeca.govt.nz.

The Energywise website also provides extensive information about energy efficiency. You can visit the Energywise website at www.energywise.govt.nz.

The Smarter Homes website www.smarterhomes.org.nz also contains information about energy efficiency, and about making your property warmer, drier and healthier.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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