1Our Campaigns 0Safe Climate Rental standards submission guide

Rental standards submission guide

Tell the government you support efficient and livable homes for renters!

Everyone deserves a safe and comfortable place to live. But many renters in Victoria are stuck with inefficient homes that waste energy, have huge bills, are freezing in winter and are unbearably hot in summer.

Replacing inefficient appliances and improving home energy efficiency is one of the quickest, most cost-effective ways to cut climate pollution. And with over 30% of Victorians living in rental properties, setting minimum standards will have a significant impact.

The Victorian government is inviting feedback on their proposed standards and for renters, this this a chance to have your say. For everyone else, it’s a chance to back-in energy efficiency, stand with the 30% of Victorians who rent, and give more people access to comfortable energy efficient homes.

Having your say is easy.

Simply head to the Victorian Government’s Engage website and answer each of the 5 questions. We’ve created a guide below to help you with your responses.

Click here to have your say

Question 1

Do you support the introduction of the proposed minimum standards to improve energy efficiency and safety of rental properties and rooming houses in Victoria? Why or why not?

Our answer: Yes.

These minimum standards are crucial to make sure renters and rooming house residents have a basic level of comfort and lower energy bills. Many renters are stuck in uncomfortable and unhealthy homes that rely on inefficient appliances and waste huge amounts of energy.

We strongly support the standards which require efficient electric appliances and basic insulation and draught sealing. This will cut pollution and directly reduce energy bills for renters.

Personal stories can have a huge impact. Take the time in this first question to introduce yourself and why you care about this issue:

  • Are you a renter? Have you had to deal with a poorly insulated home that is unaffordable to heat and cool? How has this impacted you?
  • Are you a landlord who sees the importance of minimum standards? Do you want to see renters have access to energy efficient homes that are more affordable to heat and cool?
  • Are you concerned about friends and family who rent? Or concerned about renters being hit with spiralling gas prices as other Victorian households take up incentives to electrify?


Question 2

Do you have any feedback on when the obligation for each proposed minimum standard will be triggered, as outlined in the proposed Regulations?

Our answer: Overall we think the proposed minimum standards are reasonable. The exception is the standard of ceiling insulation.

Ceiling insulation is the bare minimum required to keep homes from being dangerously hot in summer and cold in winter. We’re pleased to see a standard for ceiling insulation has been introduced, but there should also be a requirement for under-insulated homes to be improved. This new standard is long overdue and will benefit residents from the first day insulation is installed.


Question 3

Do you have any feedback on the proposed exemptions for the minimum standards, noting there are a range of exemptions for rental providers and rooming house operators, as outlined in the proposed standards?

Our answer: There are a lot of exemptions that require judgement e.g. whether meeting the standard would have an “excessive cost”, or whether it would be “unreasonable”.

Exemptions should be actively overseen by Consumer Affairs Victoria – it’s not fair to leave it to individual renters to make the case that property managers and landlords are being unreasonable. Renters won’t have sufficient information to be able to make their case.


Question 4

What practical implementation issues / challenges might be associated with the proposed minimum standards? What steps should be taken to manage risks and challenges identified?

Our answer: Compliance and enforcement with standards needs to be improved. It’s not fair or reasonable to expect renters to follow up non-compliance. And landlords and property managers may not be competent at interpreting and following the rules. Consumer Affairs Victoria should establish a permanent, proactive compliance and enforcement regime that does not expose renters to the risk of rent rises or eviction.

Some aspects of the standards leave loopholes – for example, homes with dangerous gas heaters (like open-flued gas heaters) don’t need draught sealing, leaving renters vulnerable to two dangers. Particularly dangerous appliances like these should be banned.

Further guidance: If you’re a renter and have experienced challenges trying to get repairs or basic improvements, or have you avoided asking for basic improvements for fear of rent increases? Your personal story can help illustrate why proper compliance and enforcement is so important.


Question 5

Do you have any feedback or any additional evidence on the potential outcomes or benefits that could be expected from the introduction of the proposed standards on renters, rental providers, rooming house residents, rooming house operators or the broader rental market?

This is another opportunity for personal reflection. You might want to share your general impressions of what it would mean to you, or to those you care about, to have a comfortable and efficient home with more affordable bills.