Is keeping a rental property cool in the heat a landlord’s responsibility? This is a vexed question that most regulators struggle with.
Providing climate control is obviously helpful to ensure your tenants’ year-round comfort. Both air-conditioning and heating may be necessary to keep indoor temperatures at a pleasant level.
Tenants are likely to be attracted to a property that provides a pleasant environment. Effective heating and cooling might also increase your tenants’ desire to remain living in your property and even allow you to charge a higher rent.
Generally speaking, properties with both heating and cooling, alongside modern fixtures and a 6-Star Energy Rating tend to be winners in attracting interest in a rental.
There is concern that modest rental homes accessed by people on low incomes may not have the climate control features of top end properties. Victoria is one state to set standards for energy-efficient temperature control and recently extended the reach of a rebate for energy-efficient heating and cooling units to include residential rental providers. Now, landlords have access to $1,000 rebates from Solar Victoria to install energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners in their investment properties. To be eligible, a landlord must own a rental property that is either earning $500 or less in weekly rent, occupied by renters holding a valid concession card or with a combined household income below $90,000.
We would love to have everyone, owner occupiers and tenants, living in comfortable homes where they could keep warm in winter or cool in summer without worrying about exorbitant costs.
However, it is fair to say that while there are differences between states, most operate under broadly similar principles without legislative requirements for landlords to install cooling devices in investment properties.
If you, as a landlord, are thinking about your tenants dealing with a long hot summer and considering your options right now, you might find these tips from Jim’s Air Conditioning useful.
Ducted air conditioning: A good option for landlords willing to pay the higher upfront cost for efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning, and increased marketability for future resales.
Split systems: A good middle ground for the more budget-conscious landlord who still wants an efficient air conditioning system.
Window/wall air conditioner: An option when you just want to keep your tenants comfortable but don’t have the cash to splash out with a more expensive system.
Portable air conditioner: Possibly a short-term option if your finances are tight – or you might recommend your tenants buy one. While not particularly energy efficient, they will at least keep your tenants comfortable, and the upfront cost is low. This short-term solution may not be as effective for attracting good long-term tenants though.
If you are interested in reading about energy rebates, you may like to visit https://www.energy.gov.au/rebates