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Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Renters living in inefficient homes: report

A report from rental advocacy group Better Renting shows renters in Canberra are far more likely to be living in homes with low energy efficiency ratings (EER).

The Baby it’s cold inside report analysed nearly 20,000 advertisements for rental properties in the ACT, and found that more than two in five properties listed had an EER of zero.

“This report is an unwelcome confirmation of the fact that people who rent are missing out and being left to shiver through winter in the worst properties out there,” says Better Renting’s executive director Joel Dignam.

More than four in ten (41.3%) of listed rental properties had an EER of 0.0, while only 22.8% of listed properties had an EER of 6.0.

The report builds on similar analysis by Better Renting in April last year, which reviewed a smaller number of listings.

It comes after Canberra renters took measures into their own hands earlier this winter, with some insulating their homes with bubble wrap in an attempt to stop draughts and cold air.

Mr Dignam said at the time it was “amazing” to see what renters could do on their own to make their homes more fit to live in, but realised “too many people in our community are living in cold conditions that are making them sick. As renters, we’re doing what we can. But we can’t solve this problem on our own”.

The ACT Greens have previously called on the ACT Government to implement minimum EER standards for rental properties, a call that’s backed by Better Renting.

“People who rent are doing what they can to stay warm, but they can’t solve this problem. The ACT Government needs to make sure that landlords take responsibility for ensuring that their properties can be kept at a safe and healthy temperature in summer and winter,” Mr Dignam said.

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