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Heat pumps in apartments?

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Question from Andrew: 


As an apartment owner I own the interior of the apartment envelope, the carpark (if I have one) and mail box but the common areas and exterior cladding is owned, managed and maintained by the Body Corporate. The way I read clause 3 below as most, if not all owners of apartments won’t own the exterior cladding (owned by the Body Corporate) this gives an exemption for landlords who own apartments. Do you agree with my interpretation?



In this instance, your unit would not be entirely exempt. Instead, you will be required to meet a modified standard: compliance to the extent that is reasonably practicable and still in accordance with the spirit of the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 (i.e. providing tenants with healthy and warm homes). Apartment owners who cannot install heat pumps due to body corporate rules will have to install other forms of fixed heating even if that heat source does not meet the required heating capacity.

Quoting from the example given in the Regulations:

Mr L is the landlord of premises that are part of a unit title development. The required heating capacity for the main living room of the premises is 3 kW. The only reasonably practicable qualifying heater Mr L could install would be a fixed heat pump. However, the body corporate’s rules prohibit the installation of external heating units on common property without the consent of the body corporate (the modified standards) would require Mr L to take all reasonable steps to get consent from the body corporate to install the heat pump. If Mr L were not able to get consent, (the Regulations) would require him to comply with the heating standard to the greatest extent reasonably practicable, for example, by installing a different kind of qualifying heater that does not require an external unit, even if its heating capacity is less than the required 3 kW.


Related: HHS Compliance #1: Heating requirements at a glance

Refer to the Tenancy Services guide for more information on HHS heating requirements. 
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