Originally published in the NZ Herald(external link)(external link).

An Auckland landlord has been ordered to pay up after he was successfully taken to the Tenancy Tribunal for failing to install smoke alarms.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's tenancy compliance and investigations team took landlord Aire Sterk to the tribunal. The tribunal ordered Sterk to pay $2000 in exemplary damages and was ordered not to commit the same offence within six years or he will face further legal action. Investigation team national manager Steve Watson said the order was a strong reminder to all landlords.

"It is important landlords realise not installing smoke alarms correctly isn't only a legal compliance issue, but something that can have a real effect on tenants.

"When a landlord rents a property, they must have at least one working smoke alarm on each level, either in each bedroom, or within 3m of the bedroom door.

"By failing to meet his legal obligations, Mr Sterk deprived his tenant of a warm, dry, and safe home, and put them at risk if there had been a fire," said Watson.

The team, set up in 2016 after changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, focuses on breaches of the Act that pose a significant risk to tenants - such as not having smoke alarms.


Last modified: