Monday, March 4, 2024

Matt’s Brisbane rental is so hot, he suffers headaches and can’t sleep

“I have to take my four children out in the car to be able to keep them cool because no amount of freestanding fans keeps the house cool enough for them.”

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While Brisbane residents Matt and Cara, who rent in the northside suburb of Gaythorne, do have an air-conditioner, they say it’s a struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature to work, study and “generally function” while worrying about keeping costs down.

“We find that we tire very easily and feel very fatigued – even after a few minutes in the house – unless we run the air-conditioning,” Matt said.

“We seem to be experiencing frequent headaches, and it’s difficult sometimes to even get up after a few hours of sitting in over-30-degree weather.

“It’s difficult to sleep, and we try to avoid being upstairs as much as possible because of this.

“We’ve had temperatures of 31 degrees after 10pm multiple times this summer.”

Research has shown higher temperatures reduce the amount of sleep people get, but 16 of the 19 participants in the study spent at least six hours a night in temperatures above 25 degrees.

Better Renting campaigner Sabrina Clarke said tenants reported that it was almost impossible to function in the heat.

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“We’re talking night after night after night when it’s almost impossible to get a decent sleep in your bedroom,” Clarke said, adding that renters felt they had nowhere to go.

“They can’t get their landlord to make changes, or even do basic repairs.

“They can’t move out because the rental market is tight, so there’s nowhere else for them to go.

“They are trapped in a rental home where it’s a daily struggle to survive.”

Brisbane had a tight vacancy rate of 1.1 per cent in the December quarter, according to the REIQ.

Better Renting is calling on the Queensland government to introduce minimum energy performance standards for rental homes, which could force landlords to do things like install ceiling insulation.

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