On Common Ground: How landlords & tenants shape thermal performance of private rental properties.
Much of New Zealand’s private rental housing is energy inefficient, and this is an unnecessary source of greenhouse gas emissions and often unhealthy for the occupants. There have been limited inroads to improve the thermal performance of private rented housing and their lack of action is frequently (but only partially) explained as resulting from split incentives. Increasing attention is being paid to the complex factors involved in landlord decision making around home energy performance. An under-studied area is how landlords and their tenants interact over energy-related matters. This study investigates the dynamics between landlords and tenants, using the framing of their ‘energy cultures’. I undertook a qualitative study of how landlords and tenants of the same private rental property made decisions about energy performance. Key findings include: that landlord and tenant often shared aspirations for the quality and performance of private rental properties; and that a two-way influence between the landlord and the tenant shapes the thermal performance of the property. I developed the energy cultures framework to propose the concept of Shared Energy Cultures. This depicts the relationships and pathways of influence between landlords and tenants and how this in turn shapes the thermal performance of rental properties.
Advisor: Stephenson, Janet; Walton, Sara
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Geography, Center for Sustainability
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: private rented housing, landlords, tenants, thermal performance, decision making, influence, energy
Research Type: Thesis