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According to the new Health and Safety Work Act 2015, you are considered a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) if you are a:
- Landlord (rental property owner)
- Property management business
- Self-employed property manager (sole trader)
PCBUs have the primary responsibility to guarantee the health and safety (in respect to the things you can reasonably influence and control) of those using their property for work purposes.
For example, if there is a dog on the premises, you have a duty of care to arrange with the tenant to keep the dog contained while the tradesperson is on the property.
Bear in mind, your responsibilities only fall within the realm of things you can reasonably control. If your tenant takes it upon themselves to carry out repairs on your property and a serious incident occurs, the property owner will not be liable under the new law.
What are my responsibilities when engaging someone to work on my rental property?
As a landlord or property management business, you have a responsibility to ensure that the people you engage to do work on your property are competent and appropriately qualified to do that work.
It is not your duty to become an expert yourself, or manage everything for the person or people you have employed. The tradesperson is expected to have the necessary specialist skills and expertise to do and manage the job.
As a tradesperson is also a PCBU, he or she has a responsibility to ensure that no health and safety risks arise from the work they carry out on the property. Tenants will need to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety by following reasonable instructions given by the PCBU doing the work.
Find out what’s really involved in being a property manager with our eBook: My House, Your Castle. A guide for anyone new to running an investment property in New Zealand.