Are Rental Property Landlords Legally Responsible For Health & Safety

Monday March 12, 2018 10:36

In addressing the increasing number of serious work-related injuries and deaths in New Zealand, yes, Landlords are now responsible for ensuring health and safety at their rental properties.

Landlords will be regarded as PCBU’s under the Health and Safety At Work Act 2015. PCBU’s are defined as a “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking”.  

As such, Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure the ongoing health and safety of workers they engage, or who are influenced or directed by them, while they are doing work for that PCBU, so far as is reasonably practicable.

At the end of the day, it is about what the Landlord can reasonably do to manage health and safety.

PCBU’s must also maintain any worker accommodation that is owned or managed by the PCBU, and it must be maintained so the worker is not exposed to health and safety risks.

To give more clarity under the Act, Worksafe has provided a following landlord scenario:

“If a Landlord engages a plumbing firm to do repairs on a rental property, they have control over the engaging of that company.

So, they could set health and safety standards they expect of the company they hire (e.g. they have to be a member of a professional body; they have to be qualified for the job; they have to have previous experience of doing this work etc.).

But once the plumbing company is on site the Landlord will have little influence or control over their day to day work (unless there is some hazard on the property the plumber should know about).

The risks created by the plumbing company on the job are up to them to manage.”

Should you require any further clarification on this important aspect, please contact your Securo Safety Consultant

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