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What are the landlord's obligations with smoke detectors/fire alarms?

24 October 2022

When it comes to smoke alarms, we are often asked if it is enough to have a record that the landlord tested the fire alarm or if they should get a professional company to provide certification that the property is compliant.

There is no requirement to hire a professional to install fire alarms or check they're in good work order. Landlords are, of course, welcome to hire a professional company to do this if they wish to.

With smoke alarms, a landlord must ensure they are working at the start of each new tenancy and remain in working order during the tenancy.

We recommend checking these at each inspection and then making this part of the inspection report that you and the tenant have confirmed and agreed that these are in working order.

If you're looking for an easy way to create inspection reports paperlessly on the go, try myInspections app

To avoid disputes, some landlords choose to record a video of the alarm test during inspections so that it's clear that the alarm was in good working order when you last inspected it.

During the tenancy, tenants are responsible for replacing batteries and informing the landlord as soon as possible if there are any problems with the smoke alarms.

You can find some additional information here:
Smoke Alarm Requirements for Rental Homes

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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