Queensland needs to join other states and countries and implement mandatory energy efficiency minimum standards and disclosure for rental properties.
Are rental homes too or too cold? Are renters missing out on the affordability and health impacts energy efficient homes?
Energy efficient rental homes can help with the crisis in rental affordability, as well as sustainability, climate resilience, healthy homes, and equity. The Queensland government currently has the opportunity to provide the one policy measure that delivers all five to renters: mandatory minimum energy efficiency rental standards and disclosure.
Energetic Communities has also closley worked with other members of Healthy Homes for Renters and contributed to the Community Sector Blueprint, providing an outline of key characteristics that should be present in the forthcoming National Framework for Minimum Energy Efficiency Rental Requirements.
Key Recommendations for Queensland Rental Energy Efficiency Minimum Standards:
Recommendation 1: The Queensland Government implement mandatory energy efficiency minimum standards and disclosure into rental tenancy regulations as part of its reforms to the Residential Tenancy and Rooming Accommodation Act (2008) (RTRAA).
Recommendation 2: The Queensland Government initially implements features based mandatory energy efficiency minimum standards, with a view to continual improvement to performance based mandatory energy efficiency minimum standards.
Recommendation 3: The Queensland Government bases mandatory energy efficiency minimum standards and disclosure on the Community Sector Blueprint.
Recommendation 4: Class the temperature range of a home due to its energy efficiency as a safety and wellbeing issue.
Recommendation 5: Allow minor modifications to include reasonable energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation, shading, draft reduction, and efficient fixed appliances (at time of replacement).
Recommendation 6: Implement financial or other mechanisms for landlords to undertake energy efficiency upgrades.
Recommendation 7: Mandatory disclosure should initially be at the point of advertisement, and later also included in the condition report and lease agreement.
Recommendation 8: Introduce rent caps limited to CPI regardless of the number of annual rent increases.
Recommendation 9: Undertake significant renters rights education program (for tenants and landlords).
Recommendation 10: Remove end of a fixed term agreement as a reason for property managers to evict tenants without cause.
Recommendation 11: Landlords and agents should be required to go to court to tarnish the tenant’s record and justify their reason for the request.