Shelter WA is disappointed that the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee has advised the Federal Parliament to reject the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving the Energy Efficiency of Rental Properties) Bill 2018.
The amendments would allow landlords to claim a tax offset of up to $2000 per year during a three-year trial period for energy efficiency upgrades to rental properties leased at $300 per week or less.
The pilot would provide a welcomed incentive for landlords renting properties at the more affordable end of the spectrum to invest in measures that could improve the energy security of low-income households. Energy efficiency measures such as those discussed in this Bill could reduce energy demand across the whole system, delaying the need for power in infrastructure. In addition to improving energy security for low-income tenants, this could reduce costs to State and Territory governments over the long term.
Shelter WA would welcome the introduction of the Bill, as it highlights the need of improving energy security of tenants, including those in community housing.
Tenancy legislation generally prevents tenants from making permanent changes to the properties they live in, in order to improve energy security and efficiency. Equally, there are no encouragements for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of the properties they own; as they cannot depreciate capital investment in energy efficiency improvements since these improvements must be added to the cost base for capital gains purposes. Hence, measures to improve energy security and efficiency are only carried out, if at all, at the point of property sale.
This means people who can least afford it have increased costs of living pressures. Shelter WA will continue to work with National Shelter for a raft of policy responses to make housing more affordable.
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