Publication Details

Heffernan, T. W., Heffernan, E. E., Reynolds, N., Lee, W. & Cooper, P. (2020). Towards an environmentally sustainable rental housing sector. Housing Studies, Online First 1-24.


Rental houses in Australia represent approximately one third of all homes, and this proportion has been growing over recent decades. However, the quality, comfort and environmental credentials of these houses are often poor, particularly when compared to owner-occupied homes. With climate change, the urgency increases to move to a more sustainable built environment. Consequently, exploring how to make rental properties more sustainable warrants further investigation and action. Using data gathered from a broad range of experts through a four-stage Policy Delphi technique, findings reveal four key enabling forces: communication, facilitation, incentivization, and regulation. These forces both influence and are influenced by rental market conditions. A conceptual framework is presented which highlights the interplay between the stakeholders and enabling forces, which has the potential to lead to a Win-Win-Win scenario for landlords, tenants and the environment. With a clear social and environmental imperative to move to a more sustainable rental sector, this research presents a pathway to reach this goal.

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