Taking care of your home

Having a pet

If you would like to have a pet you will need to get written approval from us. Your Tenancy Manager can provide you with an application form. Your home and surroundings need to be suitable for a pet and you will need to take care of the pet, its registration and make sure it doesn't annoy your neighbours. Animal types that are likely to be disruptive and aggressive are not allowed. Your Tenancy Manager can provide you with a list of these.

Decorating and improvements

If you want to decorate or make improvements to your home you need to get written approval from your Tenancy Manager in writing in advance. This includes removing or installing any fixtures or fittings.

Please note you can’t start any work until you have got written approval.

Temporary accommodation

You need to get written approval from us if you want to have other people living with you (other than occasional visitors). This includes the use of a caravan, mobile home or other portable accommodation at your home. Contact your Tenancy Manager for more information.

Using your home for commercial purposes

Your home can’t be used for commercial purposes, for example for running a business.

Swimming pools

Pools with a depth of more than 40 centimetres are not allowed under the terms of your tenancy. It is against the law to have a pool with a water level above 40 centimetres unless it is appropriately fenced. We are committed to safety, including the safety of children, and so we strictly enforce this legal requirement – no exceptions.

If you have any questions, please contact your Tenancy Manager before purchasing a pool.


Remove any stains from your carpet immediately. If the stain remains or there is any other damage to the carpet please contact your Tenancy Manager.

Pest control

We will make sure your home is free of pests before you start your tenancy. It’s important to do your best to make sure your home stays pest-free. If you have a pest problem, please contact your Tenancy Manager so we can help you sort this out.

The Housing New Zealand website has good tips on pest control.

Lost keys

Contact your Tenancy Manager if you lose your keys during business hours. They will arrange a new set to be cut at your own cost.

If you lose your keys in the evening or the weekend, please call 0800 223 359 for help. You'll need to pay any costs for getting into your home.

Keeping your house dry and healthy

For a dry and healthy home follow these steps:

  • Wipe any moisture or drips off your windows and walls
  • Open windows in the mornings, while you shower or bathe, or while cooking
  • Hang washing outside to dry, if you can. If you can't, hang it in a room with the door closed and the windows open
  • Keep beds and furniture away from walls, so the air doesn’t get trapped.

For more tips on keeping your home warm and dry see the Accessible Properties healthy homes guide or go to the Housing New Zealand website.

Water leaks

Report water leaks from your taps, toilet or hot water system as soon as possible to your Tenancy Manager. If you think the leak is serious enough to need an emergency repair, please call us any time on 0800 223 359.

Smoke alarms

All our homes are fitted with smoke alarms with 10-year lifespans. It's the law for all our homes to have fitted, working smoke alarms. If you think a smoke alarm in your home is not working, please call your Tenancy Manager immediately. Do not disconnect or remove smoke alarms.

Please test your smoke alarms once a month. To test, press the test button for about two seconds. The alarm will sound. When you take your finger off the button it will have reset and the light will blink continuously.

Call your Tenancy Manager if:

  • The red light stops blinking
  • If there is no alarm when you press the test button
  • The detector makes an unusual noise or chirps.

Please vacuum or dust your smoke alarms every six months.

If you set off the smoke detector by accident and there is no fire, flap a towel under it and press the hush button if it has one.

If there is a fire, call 111 immediately.

Fire safety

Keep any furniture, clothes and curtains at least one metre away from heaters. Remember to turn off your electric blanket at the wall before getting into bed.

Don’t leave the room when cooking. If you do need to leave, turn off the stove first. Keep curtains, tea towels and any flammable items away from the stove when you’re cooking. Clean your stovetop after each use.

If there is a fire, call 111 immediately.

Property damage

If your home gets damaged in any way, you need to tell your Tenancy Manager as soon as possible. If it happens on a weekend or a public holiday, you must tell your Tenancy Manager on the next business day.


All our homes are non-smoking which means you can’t smoke inside. For help to quit smoking go to the Smokefree website.

Drug contamination

You must not smoke, manufacture or use illicit drugs such as methamphetamine (“P”) in your home. Drug residue remains for a long time and can cause health problems for people living there, particularly children.

Your home will be tested to make sure that it has not been unsafely contaminated before you move in. Your home will also be tested during your tenancy and at the end of your tenancy, to make sure it has not been contaminated and it is still safe to live in.

If you or your visitors contaminate the house through illegal drug use your tenancy may be terminated. You will also have to cover any costs and the costs of decontamination can be very high.

If you want support to help you quit an addiction please contact your Tenancy Manager. This is confidential and they can link you to services that can help.

Car parking

Cars, trailers and other vehicles must be parked on the paved areas provided and not on lawns or gardens. Make sure you also keep access routes to your neighbours’ properties clear.

It’s important that you only use the parking bays that have been assigned to you and your visitors. In some cases visitors aren’t allowed to park on the property.

Keep your house secure

Keep doors and windows locked and secure when not in use.

If you are going away make the house look like someone’s home by leaving a radio or a light on. Ask a neighbour, relative or friend to clear your mail or ask New Zealand Post to hold it for you. You could also ask someone to mow the lawn for you and put your rubbish out.

It’s also good to get to know the people in your neighbourhood and you could join a Neighbourhood Support group. To find out about joining or starting a group in your area, call Neighbourhood Support on 0800 463 444 or find out more on the Neighbourhood Support website.

If someone at your door says they work for us, ask to see their identification. If they can’t provide this, call your Tenancy Manager immediately.