Health and Safety as a landlord
As a landlord, you have duties to, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of everyone carrying out or affected by work on or at your property. This includes maintenance or repair work that you organise, do yourself, or are responsible for.
Your responsibilities extend to the things you can influence and control. If you are doing the work yourself then you are responsible for ensuring it does not put the health and safety of others at risk in and around the property as well as your own.
If you employ people to do work on your rental property, it’s your responsibility to ensure they are competent and appropriately qualified to do that work. The business you arrange to carry out any maintenance or repair work is responsible for ensuring that their work does not cause harm to themselves or anyone else.
You are not expected to be responsible for those health and safety risks you have no influence or control over that arise from the actions of your tenants while they are living in the property. For example, if your tenant is injured carrying out normal expected maintenance, like changing a lightbulb, as the landlord you would not generally be liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, unless this was caused by work you had previously arranged or carried out. However, if the level of risk is higher because, for example, there are very high ceilings and complex lighting then it would be expected that the landlord would have a maintenance routine in place to manage these risks.
Together, the different people involved have a responsibility to communicate, cooperate and coordinate with one another to ensure that when work is undertaken, that it can be done so in a safe and healthy way.
For example, if there is a dog on the premises, you would need to arrange with the tenant to keep the dog contained while the tradesperson is on the property. This is within your influence and control.
This article has been provided by Worksafe New Zealand. It should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice. More information about your obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 can be found at www.worksafe.govt.nz.