2Our Campaigns 1Sustainable Living 0One Million Homes Alliance Rental Stories

Rental stories for journalists and researchers

We’ve compiled a database of tenants and responsible landlords who want to talk to the media.

Writing a story about renting, poor quality housing, unaffordable energy bills or the housing sector’s contribution to climate pollution? We’ve compiled a database of tenants and responsible landlords who want to talk to the media.


The property Margaret rents in Balwyn lacks adequate insulation.


There are 1.2 million renters in Victoria, many of them living in inefficient homes which are dangerously hot in summer, freezing in winter, or cost a fortune in energy bills to keep comfortable.

And all that wasted energy from inefficient rental homes is adding to climate pollution too. But renters’ voices are often missing from media stories about poor quality housing and why we need to improve it.

Fast facts:
  • Poor quality housing is bad for our health. More people die in Victoria from the effects of chronic cold than in Sweden.
  • Less than half of rental properties are insulated compared with more than 80% of owner-occupied homes.
  • Nearly 70% of Victoria’s emissions come from energy used in homes and businesses – and a lot of that is wasted.

Get all the detail in our full rental standards briefing paper >>


Working with other community organisations in the One Million Homes Alliance, we’ve compiled a database of renters and responsible landlords who want to tell their story to the media.

On hot days we often hang survival blankets and shade-cloth over the windows to stop the heat. It means living in the dark, but it’s better than cooking in a glasshouse.



Our house is so poorly insulated that it’s basically uninhabitable in hot weather. We’ve had to buy a portable cooler which helps a bit, but costs a lot to run. I’m on a disability pension, so we’re having to dip into my super to pay bills.



It’s really frustrating to be surrounded by so many simple things that wouldn’t actually cost much to fix, but have such a big impact on our quality of life. It’s not much to ask that landlords spend a bit of money here and there just to keep things liveable.



It is cold and draughty in winter…and the roof has leaked for 15 years. I live with a bucket permanently in the doorway of the kitchen.



Our house gets to 35 degrees inside in summer and as low as 10 degrees in winter. I’m worried about climate change, so I don’t want to run the heater all day if I know all that energy is just blowing straight through the roof.



As a landlord, keeping your house up to a good standard means that you get respect from the renter. Everyone should be entitled to a minimum standard in their home, even if you do not own it.



My electricity bill used to reach between $350 and $400 a month during winter.



See the full list of renter stories

See the full list of landlord stories


The full list includes 35 renters and landlords willing to be identified (by first name and suburb) and photographed (although some renters may want their faces obscured). Sources cover a wide range of locations, from Clifton Hill to Wodonga.

Contact our Energy Efficiency Campaigner Anne Martinelli to arrange an interview with the renter or responsible landlord.

For more info contact Anne Martinelli, Environment Victoria Energy Efficiency Campaigner

Office: : (03) 9341 8117 Mobile: 0417 114 088


Renters have few options for making improvements to their homes, while landlords have little incentive to invest in efficiency because the benefits of lower bills and improved comfort flow to tenants.

Rob from Pascoe Vale took a photo of his two year old daughter asleep on a couch in a 35 degree room during this summer.


This is a big problem because inefficient homes are little better than ‘glorified tents’ – dangerously hot in summer and freezing in winter, or cost a fortune in energy bills to keep comfortable. With energy prices skyrocketing, more and more renters are struggling to pay bills or risking their health by living in inefficient homes. And with rental homes making up around a quarter of Victoria’s housing stock, energy waste from this sector is a big contributor to climate pollution.

The only way to fix this split incentive problem is to set minimum standards for health, safety and efficiency that all rental properties must meet before they can be leased.

The Victorian government is currently reviewing the state’s Residential Tenancies Act, which is an opportunity to finally address this problem. Choice’s recent report into renting in Australia sparked a hashtag (#RentInOz) that trended nationally on Twitter as people shared their own horror stories. This is a timely topic many readers are interested in.

Read more in our briefing paper on the environmental, health and job creation benefits of minimum efficiency standards for rental properties >>