Landlords must make sure the property doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts. All unused open fireplaces must be closed off or their chimneys must be blocked to prevent draughts.
Draughts increase the likelihood of lower temperatures in houses, and can make it more expensive for a tenant to heat their home.
Fixing draughts is an easy way to reduce heating bills, and keep rental homes warm and dry.
All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.
All boarding houses must comply by 1 July 2021. All houses rented by Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and registered Community Housing Providers must comply by 1 July 2023.
Landlords that don’t meet their obligations under the healthy homes standards are in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. They may be liable for exemplary damages of up to $7,200.
What is the draught stopping standard?
Landlords must already provide rental properties in a reasonable state of repair.
Under the healthy homes standards, landlords must make sure the premises doesn’t have unreasonable gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, skylights, floors and doors which cause noticeable draughts. Landlords can’t use the age and condition of the house as a reason not to stop gaps or holes.
If rental homes have an open fireplace, it must be closed off or the chimney blocked to prevent draughts in and out of the property through the fireplace.
Tenants can ask landlords in writing to make the fireplace available for use and the landlord can agree. If it is available for use, it must be in good working order and free of any gaps which could cause a draught that are not necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the open fireplace. It is best practice to record any agreement in writing, with both tenant and landlord keeping a copy.
Our guidance document has more specific information on the draught stopping standard.
If a door has an unreasonable gap causing a noticeable draught, that draught must be stopped. While there is no set maximum gap for doors, the technical guidance document will help landlords and tenants identify when a gap is unreasonable and the resulting draught stopped.
The draught stopping standard is one of five healthy homes standards. Find out about the other healthy homes standards: