Making Minor Changes to Rentals

Vicki Hetherington News

2021 has seen New Zealand’s biggest tenancy reforms in more than three decades. Corporate Property Rentals is here to help you to understand what these changes are. One of the changes made earlier this year now means that tenants may ask to make minor changes to their rental and landlords must not decline if the change is minor. This sounds a little scary but it doesn’t have to be! Landlords have 21 days to respond and can set reasonable conditions. This article will help you to understand what your rights are as a landlord.

Making minor changes to rentals in New Zealand doesn't have to be scary
Tenants may ask to make changes to rentals and landlords must not decline if the change is minor.

If your tenant wishes to make minor changes to their rental these changes must not require any building or body corporate consent, must not pose any risk to health and safety or to the property, and must be of a nature that allows the property to be easily returned to a substantially similar condition at the end of the tenancy. Any minor changes to their rental must be paid for by the tenant, including any remedial work to return the property to ‘substantially the same’ condition upon the end of the tenancy. Check out this link for more details from the Ministry of Housing and Development here.

A few examples of minor changes include:

  • Securing furniture or appliances to the wall for earthquake or child safety.
  • Installing minor disability aids such as visual alerts for fire.
  • Child safety aids such as baby gates or child proof latches on cupboards and doors.
  • Installing gardens where these may be returned to the original state at the end of the tenancy.
  • Changing or installing curtains or window coverings.
  • Installing picture hooks or shelving.

If the tenant wishes to make minor changes to their rental then a landlord cannot decline but may set reasonable conditions. For example, the landlord may request shelving be installed on a different wall to avoid damaging wiring on a particular wall. Landlords may also ask that a tenant use a particular method to avoid any damage to the property, such as requesting a tenant use a certain type of picture hook or that removed curtains be stored in the hot water cupboard to avoid mildew. If the landlord loves the changes, they may even choose to reimburse the tenant at the end of the tenancy and keep the stylish shelving or new curtains for the next tenant to enjoy.

At the end of the day, everything is still negotiable and it’s still up to the landlord and the tenants to figure it out between themselves, which is where Corporate Property Rentals come in. What is important here is communication and documentation to make sure everyone has all the information and is on the same page. We’re here to iron out the kinks and make sure both you, and your tenant, are looked after. Get in touch with the team at Corporate Property Rentals anytime with questions, we’re here to help.