Does a landlord need to provide heating in a rental? We find out what the law says and explain what your requirements are in our latest property management article. Keeping warm in winter is often a top priority for tenants. But when it comes to heating in a rental, is it compulsory for landlords to supply the heat source?
As a Landlord, Do I Need to Provide Heating in a Rental?
No you don’t have to provide heating in every room, but the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 says you should have a heat source or a plug for the tenant’s heat source in the living area. The heat source could be a log burner, heat pump, or even an inexpensive heater. A landlord should ensure that there is at least one plug in every room, or of enough quantity throughout the house for a tenant to power their own heaters. A landlord is responsible for maintenance of heating and ventilation systems. If there is a fireplace in the house, the chimney should be checked regularly to ensure it’s not blocked and is safe to use. If a chimney isn’t safe, it should either be fixed, replaced, or boarded up enough to deter tenants using it. There is a duty to care for young children, the elderly and people with serious medical conditions. If they are in a warm house, there is a reduced chance of these vulnerable people developing health issues resulting from the cold and damp. Thereare lots of good reasons to ensure your rental property is warm and inexpensive to heat. A key one is that it gives your tenants a great incentive to stay for a longer time. This reduces your turnover costs of advertising and acquiring new tenants, plus avoids having an empty rental.
Considering Installing Heating in a Rental?
If you are considering installing heating in a rental, look at the big picture rather than the short-term cost. A heat pump is relatively efficient at warming rooms and provides instant heat. A wood burner also provides great heat but requires a tenant to organize and store firewood. A flued gas heater is also easy to run but can be a costly option unless there is gas already being delivered to the property for water heating. A heat pump installation doesn’t require a building permit, but a wood burner will. Both will need regular maintenance. It comes down to the personal decision of the landlord, but a tenant is likely to favor the convenience of a heat pump first, especially in Auckland! If you’re getting stressed trying to comply with all the rules and regulations relating to managing a rental, stop! We’re here to help, so please contact us today and we’ll take all the stress and worry away by managing your rental for you.