Rental properties must have a fixed heater (not portable) in good working order in the main living area. If a fixed heater has not been installed in the main living area by 29 March 2021, the rental provider must install an energy-efficient heater.
From 29 March 2023, the heater must also meet energy efficiency standards. This means that if a renter enters into a rental agreement from 29 March 2023, there must be a fixed energy-efficient heater in the main living area. If there is an existing fixed heater that is not energy efficient, the rental provider must upgrade it.
An energy-efficient fixed heater must be one of the following:
- a non-ducted air conditioner or heat pump with a 2-star or above energy rating
- a gas space heater with a 2-star or above energy rating
- ducted heating or hydronic heating system with an outlet in the main living area
- a domestic solid fuel burning appliance, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove
More information on this legislation can be found by checking the Rental Properties Minimum Standards
- Does the heater have a flame or ignite when you turn it on? This is a gas heater.
- Is there a heater that can also be used as an air conditioner? If unsure, the controller will have two operating modes that you can change (sometimes, this will use a ‘sun’ icon). This is a reverse-cycle air conditioner. Reverse-cycle air conditioners can have outlets in one room or multiple rooms.
- Does the heater heat only one room or the whole house? A heater that heats only one room is a space heater. A heater that has heating ducts in more than one room is a ducted heater.
- You may also have an operating manual that will tell you more about the heater.
- You can find information on your heater’s star rating here:
Gas – https://www.aga.asn.au/directory/
Electric – www.energyrating.gov.au
If the property does not meet minimum standards, the renter can request that the rental provider make repairs or changes before signing the agreement or before they move in.
If a rental agreement has been signed but the renter has not moved in yet, and the property does not meet minimum standards, the renter can:
- end the rental agreement immediately without fees by notifying the rental provider that the property does not meet minimum standards.
- move in any way, then make a request for urgent repairs.
If a property falls below minimum standards at any time during a rental agreement, the renter can make a request for urgent repairs to meet the standards.