The environmental sustainability of Australia’s private rental housing stock

The introduction of this scheme poses particular challenges for private rental tenants who are constrained in their adoption of low-emission substitutes as they do not have the right to adapt their homes without landlord acquiescence.  Moreover, as the landlord does not reap the immediate benefits of investment in alternative energy efficient equipment, the financial incentives motivating such investments is weaker than those of homeowners.

In response, this project will examine the potential opportunities for and barriers to improving the environmental sustainability of Australia’s private rental stock.  It will address specific reference to housing consumers and providers in the private rental market.

The project will review how the current policy and legislative framework in Australia operates to facilitate or discourage investment in environmentally sustainable private rental housing; employ a microsimulation modelling exercise to estimate the impact of CET on private renters’ energy bills, particularly low-income tenants; use hedonic modelling techniques to test the principal-agent hypothesis, which predicts that private rental households are more vulnerable to higher energy prices than homeowners; and conduct a series of focus groups and interviews with private rental investors in order to gain insight into their attitudes towards improving the environmental sustainability of their investment.


Researchers: Gavin Wood; Michael Gabriel (Project Leader) & Phillipa Watson, UTAS; Rachel Ong, Curtin; Maryann Wulff, Monash.

Funding: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (category 1 competitive grant), 2009-2010.

Start By 1 September 2009
Completed By 1 January 2011
Funding RMIT Research Support
Researcher(s) Gavin Wood
Program Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures
Location(s) Melbourne – Australia