22 August 2018 The Fifth State’s Willow Aliento: Support urgently needed for Storer’s bill to make rental housing bearable in extremes

22 August 2018 by Jason Quinn
This bill is about tax treatments; to encourage property owners with low cost rentals to invest in energy efficiency – especially the building fabric. But from my perspective the point from this article is how horrible split incentives are. We have this same split incentive issue in NZ. The split where landlords pay for the building and capital upgrades but the tenant pays for the power bills. This is true for homes and for office buildings, and the same thing results. The landlords want the highest rent for the smallest capital and the tenants in almost all cases have to take what is offered. This results in the cheapest buildings you are legally allowed to built – in other words code minimum.
“People living in houses like tents, as cold inside as out
Research has shown a lot of low income households are living in houses that are like tents”,… For example, there are households in Tasmania where researchers have found the indoor temperature tracks the outdoor temperature. The houses are simply “impossible to heat,” Mr Murray-Leach said.”
“Senator Storer said that upgrading thermal building performance can prevent deaths and poor quality of life consequences.
“Current approaches to fixing the energy performance of our building stock focus on improving the standards of new buildings.
“Whilst commendable, we should not forget that only two per cent of Australia’s building stock is replaced each year, and many low income people rent old buildings. So, retrofitting is still critically important.””
Content by The Fifth State

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