Want to make changes to the rented house? Let's see what you can do.

Written by
Wallace Wang

22 March 2021

In New Zealand, many people choose to rent a house. However, many tenants want to decorate the house they live in or make appropriate changes to the room.



According to the old lease law, any minor changes to the house by the tenant need written consent of the house owner, and no changes can be made as long as the house owner does not provide consent.

New Zealand's latest lease bill came into effect on February 11th 2022. According to the Act, as long as the structure of the house is not changed, tenants can make minor changes to their rented rooms or install reasonable fixtures.



Mission Property will popularise the related matters of room changes in the latest effective lease bill in New Zealand


Which of the changes belong to minor changes?

The government will allow tenants to carry out small-scale renovation of the rented house, and tenants have the right to add small accessories in the room, such as baby protection facilities, curtains and household appliances; They can also do some wall painting and other decorations.
However, the new regulations require that these decorations should not damage the house or cause structural changes, pose hidden dangers to the safety of the house, and should not conflict with the Body Corporate rules of shared property houses.

Here are some changes that house owners can't refuse:

  • Necessary household equipment: such as washing machine and dishwasher
  • Devices to ensure children's safety: such as baby doors, child safety locks, etc.
  • Small devices to ensure the safety of the disabled such as fire visual alarm, safety alarm and doorbell
  • Other small decorations such as shelves, curtains, hooks, etc.
  • Decorate the garden


Modification process:

Before talking to the house owner, the tenant should confirm the details of the changes. Then, the tenant must first make a written request to the house owner for the changes, and the house owner must give a reply within 21 days.
For minor changes, although the house owner can't refuse, he can put forward reasonable requirements.




How to deal with the changes once the tenant has moved out?

At the end of the lease period, unless the house owner allows it, the tenant needs to change the room back to its original condition and remove all installed accessories and furniture.


Who will bear the cost of the change?

All the cost of modification and the cost of restoration and demolition when the lease is retired shall be covered by the tenant.



Suggestions from Mission

Although the new law gives tenants the right to make minor changes to the room, they need to restore the room to its original condition when they move out.

According to the latest lease law, although the tenant is not responsible for the normal wear of the rented house, he should bear relevant responsibilities if there is intentional damage or damage caused by negligence.

If the house is accidentally damaged during the modification or restoration, the house owner can ask the tenant to compensate the excess fees or 4 weeks' rent (whichever is lower).

Therefore, to avoid unnecessary damage to the house, you need to think carefully when making changes and consider whether you can restore the house to its original condition.


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