Changes to the RTA aim to reduce fire-related injuries and deaths and to make homes warmer, drier and safer for the million New Zealanders who live in rental accommodation.

Some of the proposed changes are:

Smoke Alarms

  • From 1 July residential rental homes will need to have working smoke alarms installed. Any replacement alarms installed after that date will need to have long life batteries and a photoelectric sensor. Hardwired smoke alarms are also permitted.
  • Tenants will be responsible for replacing worn-out batteries in the smoke alarms and informing their landlords of any defects.


  • All residential rental homes in New Zealand will be required to have insulation. Social housing (where tenants pay an income related rent) must be insulated by 1 July 2016 and all other rental homes by July 2019.

Landlords will be required to provide a statement on the tenancy agreement about the location, type and condition of insulation in the rental home.