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Renters can too!

With a little bit of communication and creative thinking, sustainability and improved comfort are possible for apartment renters. Take a look inside Amy's Thornbuy (Vic) rented apartment to see how she improved the efficiency and thermal comfort of her apartment.

The building: 1970s, 2 storeys, 8 apartments in Thornbury

Sustainability initiatives

  • Water saving showerhead
  • Flow restrictors on taps
  • Draught tape around doors and windows
  • Draught proofing strip along bottom of doors
  • Ceiling insulation
  • Power saving switches on appliances
  • Hungry bin worm farm shared with neighbours
  • Wireless internet shared with neighbour

The story

Amy’s little top floor apartment was horribly hot in summer, freezing in winter and draughty all year round. Working in sustainability Amy knew there were lots of simple, affordable things that would fix these problems.

One day she got that dreaded notice from her landlord – they were putting the rent up. Paying more for an uncomfortable apartment wasn’t a great proposition so it was time to act.

Amy wrote a letter to the landlord proposing that instead of paying a rent increase, she would invest money back into the property. She put a quote together showing how much she was investing in the property through draught proofing, ceiling insulation, efficient showerhead and flow restrictors. All up it was going to cost about $600. After some deliberation the landlord agreed to this proposal, what at win!

All the payments and logistics of the work were managed by Amy. Once the work was completed she invited the landlord around to inspect the work.

Inspired by the success of this project Amy decided to invest in a hungry bin worm farm. She paid for this herself as it was something that could move when she did. The farm was installed in the car park and she invited her neighbours to use it too. The worm farm has now been operating for over two years.

These days Amy’s apartment is warm, water efficient and produces lovely rich fertilizer instead of food waste.

Amy's advice

If you’re a renter don’t assume you’re powerless. Ask for what you want, present a budget and offer to do all the legwork yourself. If you make it super easy for your landlord they are more likely to say yes.

Thornbury apartment