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 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 Housing New Zealand and registered Community Housing Providers must comply by 1 July 2023.

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.

Download the draught stopping guidance document. [PDF, 2 MB]

What is an unreasonable gap?

Further guidance information is being developed that explains how landlords and tenants can assess if a gap that causes a draught is unreasonable. This will be available on this page shortly.

Doors

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.

General exemptions to the healthy homes standards

Further information

Property maintenance

The draught stopping standard is one of five healthy homes standards.

Find out about the other healthy homes standards: