Working with your household—family and flatmates
If you live with your family and want to reduce your household's costs and impacts, get together to consider how to manage tasks and responsibilities. As a renter, you may live in a share house with people who have different household habits and priorities. Consider consulting with your flatmates when you move in to agree on household habits and discuss ways to save energy, water and money.
To get the conversation started, try sharing some of the tips in this guide with your flatmates. The Alternative Technology Association (PDF 2.13MB) and the Victorian Smart Renter's Guide are also packed with practical, renter-specific tips.
Talking to your landlord or estate agent
Repairs, servicing or maintenance, including many energy efficiency improvements, will usually require permission (and finance) from your landlord. Every state and territory has different laws for tenants, so it's important to do your research and ask permission before going ahead with any property changes.
Some things to keep in mind when approaching your landlord or estate agent to request sustainable improvements include:
- Rebates and assistance. There is a range of government rebates and assistance available to property owners for making sustainable improvements. To assist your request you could do some of the research for your landlord and explore our rebates and assistance section to find what's relevant to your situation.
- Tax deductions. Many green property improvements, as well as repairs and maintenance, are tax deductible. You might like to look at the Australian Tax Office's Guide for rental property owners to see which items apply to your household and pass on any good news to your landlord.
- Investment benefits. By investing in sustainable improvements, your landlord is increasing the property's value and making it more attractive to future buyers and renters.
Make sure you put any requests to your landlord or real-estate agent in writing. If you need help, take a look online for sample letters or check out the Alternative Technology Association's sample letter at the back of their Renters guide to sustainable living (PDF 2.3MB). It's also a good idea to keep a record of all requests as well as any agreements from your landlord or real estate agent to make changes or improvements.
Information for renters and landlords in every state and territory
- Renters guide to sustainable living (2.3MB PDF) Alternative Technology Association
- ACT Tenancy Factsheets Tenants' Union ACT Inc.
- NSW Renting a home NSW Government
- NT Residential tenancies Northern Territory Consumer Affairs
- QLD Thinking about renting residential tenancies authority
- SA Renting and letting Government of South Australia
- TAS Renting Consumer, Building and Occupational Services
- VIC Renting Consumer Affairs Victoria
- WA Renting and leasing Government of Western Australia