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Can a landlord agree with their tenant to exclude the ground moisture barrier requirement?

26 October 2022

An exemption to the Draught stopping standard seems to cause some confusion.

A landlord does not need to block off the open fireplace if the tenant requests to use it. Some landlords presume this exemption can be applied to other standards. But this isn't so.

The special mention under the Draught stopping standard covers chimneys and open fireplaces. This exemption allows tenants to have these fireplaces if they want for their enjoyment AND if the landlord is happy to grant permission not to block them.

The Moisture ingress and drainage standard covers the ground moisture barrier requirement. Unfortunately, landlords are required to install one if it's practicably reasonable. For example, if there is space to store items underfloor, then the area is likely to be accessible. Even if the area is generally dry, a landlord can't simply opt out by having a written agreement with their tenants.

Read more:

Healthy Homes Standards - Moisture ingress and drainage standard
Healthy Homes Standards - Exemptions

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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