About 35% of Australians rent (rather than own) their home and this figure is rising in response to a number of external pressures, including housing affordability.

In the City of Port Phillip, around 45% of all residents rent their home and are more than likely to be in an apartment.

But there are a few things you can consider:

Undertake portable improvements. It is always worth installing energy and water-saving devices that you can easily take with you at the end of your tenancy. These include items such as water-efficient showerheads, energy-efficient light globes, draught-stoppers at doors, movable blinds, winter window panels (to preserve indoor heat), even grey-water diverters for watering the garden. You don't need the landlord's permission to install these items. Also, you can make sure your appliances-not only televisions, fridge and washing machine, but heaters, ovens and dishwashers-are as energy- and water-efficient as possible. Finally, if central heating and cooling are installed, set the temperature at an eco-friendly level (i.e. 18-20ºC in winter and 24-26ºC in summer).   Negotiate improvements before you move in. Your conditions report will discuss any necessary repairs to be taken by the landlord or agent to provide an adequate standard for tenancy. If the stove, hot water service or shower is being replaced, rooms being re-painted or re-carpeted, negotiate for energy- and water-efficient fittings and appliances, low-VOC paints or oiled timber floors.

Negotiate cost-effective improvements. Speak to the landlord about cost-effective improvements such as roof insulation (which comes with a healthy rebate), upgrading the faulty heater or cooker to a more efficient reconditioned or second-hand model, installing a dual-flush toilet, installing draught seals around windows and doors, and sealing gaps in walls, ceilings and floors. There are many ways you can improve your place's efficiency. You can contact our Greenhouse Program Officer on 9209 6780 for more advice.