Investor Article

What is a ‘minor change’ and how should a tenant go about making one?

Image of Oliver Pearson

Author: Oliver Pearson

Manager and Property Investor for 20+ years

Aug 22, 2022
Baby standing at a gate

What is a ‘minor change’?


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.



Examples of minor changes to the property include:


  • installing a baby gate
  • affixing child safe latches to cupboards
  • installing shelving
  • installing television aerials
  • installing gardens when these can be returned to the original state at the conclusion of the tenancy
  • installing curtains and window coverings
  • installing picture hooks



What is the process for a tenant to make a minor change?


  1.  Make the request to the landlord in writing.
  2. 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).
  3. Pay the installation costs (unless otherwise agreed with the landlord).
  4. At the end of the tenancy, remove the fitting that was installed (unless landlord agrees it can stay).
  5. Return the property to substantially the same condition it was in before the minor change was made.



What must the Landlord do?


  1. Respond in writing within 21 days of receiving the tenant’s request to say whether the change is considered minor or not. 
  2. If the change is minor, give written permission within 21 days.
  3. 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.
  4. Landlords must not decline minor changes but may set reasonable conditions.



Next steps?


If you have an alteration in mind please get in touch with your Property Manager to get the process underway!


Image of Oliver Pearson

Oliver Pearson

Manager and Property Investor for 20+ years

Image of Oliver Pearson

Oliver Pearson

Manager and Property Investor for 20+ years

Oliver Pearson began investing in property aged 21 and has since bought, developed and sold real estate in the UK, USA, South East Asia and New Zealand. After a career in banking he is now on the management team at Waikato Real Estate and has contributed to property articles for NZ Herald, Stuff and Property Investor Magazine.

Based in Raglan, Oliver's passions extend beyond property to surfing, hydrofoiling, and providing a taxi service for his children.

Award-winning Property Management

We take exceptional care of your property, leaving you free to do what you love