- Smoke alarms will become compulsory as from July 2016. New alarms will need to be long-life photo-electric. (Photoelectric alarms sense smoke by shining a light beam across a chamber to detect when the air in the chamber becomes partially obscured.)
- Rentals must have underfloor and ceiling insulation installed by July 2019. Some exceptions will apply where it is impractical to retrofit insulation. The requirements will be that the ceiling insulation must be at least 70mm think above habitable spaces (garages and storage areas are excluded). The level of insulation will need to be noted in the tenancy agreement. If a tenant believes a house does not have adequate insulation they can refer the matter to the Tenancy Tribunal who can order the Landlord to meet the requirement.
- There are also likely to be changes regarding a landlord's right to regaining possession of their property where it has been abandoned by the tenant. Essentially the process would involve a fast track approach done without needing a hearing. To access this fast track process the rent would need to be more than 14 days in arrears, evidence that the tenant has moved out, and the tenant has not responded to the usual forms of communication.
Importantly for Northland, the rule only applies to medium and high risk areas. Low risk areas (which is basically Auckland north and parts of the east coast of Southland) are not included.