Are Landlords Required to Fix Bad Insulation?

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Poor insulation refers to situations where tiny spaces in the walls or floors cause outside weather to affect the temperature inside the apartment unit. “Weatherization” services fix this problem.

Landlords Are Not Typically Required to Weatherize

Landlords are required under the “implied warranty of habitability” to fix major problems in the apartment that generally affect health or safety. Poor insulation of the apartment may affect the temperature of the apartment slightly, but it rarely affects the temperature enough to affect health or safety. However, some state and local laws require the apartment to be above and below specific temperatures. Poor insulation would be cause for a housing code violation where the temperature doesn’t meet local housing codes, or where local regulations impose specific standards for insulation.

Funding and Grants

The Department of Energy provides funding to weatherize the homes of mostly low-income homeowners and tenants. Applications should go your state’s public weatherization program and tenants are usually required to have the permission of their landlords to make major structural changes. You can learn more here: https://energy.gov/eere/wipo/where-apply-weatherization-assistance.

Removable Weatherization Kits

Tenants can purchase and install removable weatherization kits at their cost. It may help reduce the tenant’s electricity or heating bill and make living more comfortable. Tenants should always notify their landlord and should attempt to negotiate for the landlord to pay for some or all of the fix. It’s easy to find removable weatherization kits online, which tenants can purchase and install on windows, doors, or even sometimes, walls.

Permanent Weatherization

Permanent and significant changes to the apartment require the landlord’s permission. If tenants wish to make permanent weatherization changes, they should first obtain permission from their landlord even if the fixes are being funded through a government assistance program.

Landlords Are Not Typically Required to Weatherize


Landlords are required under the “implied warranty of habitability” to fix major problems in the apartment that generally affect health or safety. Poor insulation of the apartment may affect the temperature of the apartment slightly, but it rarely affects the temperature enough to affect health or safety. However, some state and local laws require the apartment to be above and below specific temperatures. Poor insulation would be cause for a housing code violation where the temperature doesn’t meet local housing codes, or where local regulations impose specific standards for insulation.

Funding and Grants


The Department of Energy provides funding to weatherize the homes of mostly low-income homeowners and tenants. Applications should go your state’s public weatherization program and tenants are usually required to have the permission of their landlords to make major structural changes. You can learn more here: https://energy.gov/eere/wipo/where-apply-weatherization-assistance.

Removable Weatherization Kits


Tenants can purchase and install removable weatherization kits at their cost. It may help reduce the tenant’s electricity or heating bill and make living more comfortable. Tenants should always notify their landlord and should attempt to negotiate for the landlord to pay for some or all of the fix. It’s easy to find removable weatherization kits online, which tenants can purchase and install on windows, doors, or even sometimes, walls.

Permanent Weatherization


Permanent and significant changes to the apartment require the landlord’s permission. If tenants wish to make permanent weatherization changes, they should first obtain permission from their landlord even if the fixes are being funded through a government assistance program.

Last Update : July 22, 2018 UTC

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