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Greens move to ‘freeze rents, not homes this winter’ with minimum energy standards for rentals

9 July 2024

Renters struggling with freezing homes and inadequate heating this winter would finally get some relief under a Greens bill to impose minimum energy efficiency standards on landlords.

The Residential Tenancies (Minimum Standards) Tenancy Bill to be introduced into State Parliament after the midwinter break would impose the following standards on rentals: 

  • Appliances and dishwashers must be rated under the WELS scheme to demonstrate their water use (
  • Homes must be fitted with an efficient heater and cooler (that is fixed and in good working order)
  • Roof insulation must comply with the minimum standards under the Federal building code
  • Chimneys, windows, doors, exhaust fans, ceiling vents must be maintained to prevent draughts
  • External windows must have fly screens
  • Any new tenancy agreement would be required to comply with the standards 
  • Landlords would be required to disclose the energy efficiency of their home to potential tenants – a penalty applies of up to $20,000 for landlords that don’t disclose or mislead

“Many South Australian renters are struggling with freezing homes and skyrocketing energy bills this winter. We know that ineffective heating doesn’t just fail to keep your home warm, it also costs a lot more for the consumer and can make you sick. Landlords should be forced to meet minimum standards for rental properties and disclose the energy efficiency rating of the home to prospective tenants prior to them signing a lease,” said Greens SA Housing Spokesperson Robert Simms MLC.

“If you are renting a home in South Australia, you should be able to rely on it being kept cool in summer and warm in winter. Basic things, like flyscreens on windows and covering up draughts, should be no-brainers for landlords, but sadly we know that some are simply refusing to do the right thing by their tenants. It’s shocking that some landlords are hiking up rents, making big profits, while failing to invest in these basic amenities. We should be freezing rents, not homes this winter.”

In 2022 a report from Better Renting showed that 79% of the time renters’ homes are below the WHO recommended minimum health standard of 18˚C in South Australia. Greens MLC Robert Simms also has a separate Private Members Bill before Parliament to freeze rent prices for 2 years