Greens call for mandatory air conditioning in Victorian rental properties

Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam has called on the State Government to amend the minimum standards for rental properties to include air conditioning.

In a letter to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne, Ms Ratnam said Victorians were battling longer and hotter heat waves due to climate change and demanded the minimum standards for rental properties, which were upgraded last year, be updated.

“While the standards include heating as a requirement for rental properties, meaning that every rental home must have a heater in good working order, they do not include any standards for insulation or for cooling,” she wrote.

“As Victorians swelter through another warm summer, many renters are living in homes without air conditioning or effective insulation, and are struggling to keep their homes cool in the hot weather.” 

Ms Ratnam noted restrictions associated with COVID-19 restrictions meant people had to spend more time at home and were unable to get relief from the heat.

“​​Victorians are also once again working from home in line with current health advice, meaning many renters are spending long hours in hot conditions, and at risk of developing heat-related illness or heatstroke,” she said.

“With Victorian summers likely to get hotter and longer as we feel the effects of climate change, effective cooling will be necessary to keep rental homes safe and liveable in the summer months.

“Introducing insulation standards for rental properties will also make it easier and cheaper for renters to keep their homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”

Elite Agent contacted the minister for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.