Who is responsible for sweeping the chimney?

Jeanette W asks:
(updated on Wednesday, October 01st 2008)

Who is responsible for the cleaning of a chimney and how often should it be safely done? Also should all outside doors of a rental property have steps outside. We have 2 ranch-slider doors that have a big jump down to the ground. I am ever fearful of children or even myself falling if they are open.

Our Experts Answer:

Chimney cleaning is generally considered the responsibility of the landlord as maintenance of the property, unless the tenant has carelessly or intentionally caused the need for cleaning. You may wish to contact the New Zealand Fire Service to find out how often the chimney should be cleaned. Your landlord should also check any requirements in their insurance policy about how often the chimney must be cleaned. The Residential Tenancies Act does not state whether there must be steps outside all external-access doors in a rented property. However, landlords have to comply with all building health and safety requirements that apply to the property. Your local council may be able to tell you whether steps are required outside the ranch slider doors in your home.

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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