As consumers become increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, many tenants are putting pressure on landlords and letting agents to play their part. In a recent YouGov poll, 80% of tenants wanted their landlord to pay more attention to the environmental impact of their property, and a separate study found that 40% of tenants say green credentials are key when selecting their next rental property. The good news is that there are lots of ways that you can create a greener, more sustainable rental business without breaking the bank, helping tenants save money and reduce their carbon footprint in the process. Here’s how…
Although most new-builds are well-insulated from day one, older properties may be lacking, and this can make a real difference to your tenants’ energy bills. Loft and wall insulation are more affordable than ever, and in some parts of the country, you might be eligible for a grant as a landlord. Investing in insulation not only helps you create a warmer, more comfortable home for your tenants but reduces the chances of damp - which could save you thousands.
Making the switch to LED lightbulbs in your rental properties can significantly cut tenants’ energy bills. Sure, they might cost more than standard bulbs, but they last much longer and are energy-efficient, too. A third of renters think that landlords should be responsible for changing bulbs, and though most tenancy agreements leave this responsibility up to the tenant, LED bulbs are a small investment that can start your relationship off on the right foot.
As a landlord, finding ways to save money and hold onto more of your rental income is important, especially in these challenging times. However, for speed and convenience, it’s often the case that white goods such as fridges and washing machines are replaced when they break, rather than repaired. Repairing machinery is not only cheaper than buying a replacement, but it’s great for the environment, too. Find a local handyman who can assist when tenants report appliance faults and let them know of your “repair over replace” policy.
Although repairing older appliances is more environmentally-friendly than replacing them with something new, there will come a time when you need to upgrade. When you do, look out for the efficiency rating and choose the best-rated appliance for your budget. Most are graded A to G, with A being the most efficient. Speak to an expert for recommendations.
Maintaining your radiators on a regular basis means that there’ll be no airlocks in the system which can cause blockages, leading to a more energy-efficient heating system. Scheduling in an annual service of your boiler and radiators means your tenants won’t complain about a dodgy boiler as we enter into the colder months - and their homes will be warm and toasty.
Did you know that the average shower uses between 10 and 20 litres of water every minute? Making the switch to a water-saving showerhead could help your tenants lower their water bills. Which? says that the best way to check whether you need a water-saving showerhead is to put a two-litre container on the shower floor and let it fill up. If it does so in less than 12 seconds, then the chances are that your shower is using too much water. Showerheads are available for less than £10 and some local authorities even give them away for free.
The average cost of double glazing in the UK is around £4,000, and whilst that may be an expensive investment, it should be something you consider in the years to come. Keeping your properties well-insulated not only makes it more attractive to potential tenants, but it can lower their energy bills and reduce condensation, which if left untreated can cause mould. If you are considering double glazing, research pay-monthly schemes, as many installers work with landlords and allow them to take advantage of interest-free credit for several years.
Did you know that the toilet is one of the main offenders of water wastage in the UK? The average flush requires 12 litres of water - if a family of four each uses the toilet five times per day, that’s an eye-watering 240 litres of water per day wasted. Low-flush or dual-flush toilets are designed to substantially reduce water consumption whilst adequately flushing, cutting the average flush to three litres rather than 12. When you’re next upgrading your rental properties, consider installing such technology to help your tenants lower their water bills.
Turning rental properties green not only helps your tenants lower their environmental impact and their energy bills, but it helps you to create more sustainable, responsible environments and, in some parts of the country, command a premium from eco-conscious consumers. Check back to the Billing Better blog soon for more advice, and click here to find out more about our bills-included service for landlords and letting agents.