Cold air coming in

Question from Charles updated on 11th September 2012:

The windows in the house I am renting are single glazed and there are gaps where cold air comes in. Is this the landlord's responsibility to fix? Also, the hot water cylinder is over 40 years old. It still functions but not well. Must my landlord replace this?

Our expert Megan Martin responded:

Whether or not your landlord is responsible for replacing a hot-water cylinder and windows will depend on the particular circumstances of your tenancy. The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act), states that landlords are responsible for ensuring that premises are maintained in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the premises. Furthermore, a landlord is responsible for ensuring that premises comply with all relevant health, safety, and building legislation. If you think maintenance or repairs are required to be carried out on the premises, you should discuss the matter with your landlord in the first instance. If that does not resolve the matter and you consider your landlord has breached their obligations in relation to the state of the premises, you can issue your landlord with 14-days’ written notice asking them to carry out the necessary work. As notices to remedy must be in writing, you will need to allow the correct time for the notices to be properly served. You should also keep a copy of the notice should you need to refer to it in the future. A template for 14-days notice and information about service times can be found at If the landlord does not comply with the notice, you could apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. Go to or phone 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) for more information.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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