Examples of minor changes to the property
- visual fire alarms and doorbells
- baby-proofing, e.g. a baby gate
- earthquake-proofing, e.g. securing a bookshelf to the wall.
Tenant responsibilities for making a minor change
- Make the request to the landlord in writing.
- Receive landlord’s permission (which must be within 21 days) before making the minor change to the property (the landlord can ask to extend the timeframe).
- Pay the installation costs (unless otherwise agreed with the landlord).
- At the end of the tenancy, remove the fitting that was installed (unless landlord agrees it can stay).
- Return the property to substantially the same condition it was in before the minor change was made.
Landlord responsibilities for making a minor change
- Respond in writing within 21 days of receiving the tenant’s request to say whether the change is considered minor or not.
- If the change is minor, give written permission within 21 days.
- If the change is considered more than minor and more time is needed to consider the request, give the tenant written notice stating that the 21 days will be extended by a reasonable time.
- Landlords must not decline minor changes but may set reasonable conditions.
Definition of a minor change to the property
A minor change is defined as any fixture, renovation, alteration or addition to the property that:
- has a low risk of damage to the property
- can be easily reversed (property can be returned to substantially the same condition)
- doesn’t pose a risk to health and safety
- doesn’t compromise the structural integrity, weathertightness or character of the property
- doesn’t affect anyone’s enjoyment or use of the property
- doesn’t require regulatory consent
- doesn’t breach any regulatory rules.