Who pays for chimney cleaning?

Question from Annabel updated on 8th March 2011:

My tenants are expecting me to reimburse them for the cleaning of the chimney, is it standard practice to pay for a chimney sweep? They have been in the house for 3 years and have paid for cleaning of chimney up until now.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

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. If you cannot reach an agreement with your tenants about who is responsible, either party can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. You may wish to contact the New Zealand Fire Service to find out how often the chimney should be cleaned. You should also check any requirements in your insurance policy about how often the chimney must be cleaned.  

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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