Going green is far from a new concept, yet when it comes to rented accommodation many homes on the market are seemingly stuck in the dark ages. Eco-friendly landlords are not as easy to come by as they should be, and that can work in your favour if you’re one of the few who’s willing to take an environmentally conscious stance with their properties.
So, the short answer to ‘Are Eco-Friendly Landlords Set To Attract More Tenants?’, is a resounding, Yes!
That being said, tenant interest isn’t the only thing to consider; it’s very much a case of weighing up the pros and cons on an individual basis. Today’s post goes over everything, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision once we’re done.
Let’s get started!
Why are more renters looking for eco-friendly properties?
The number of tenants who actively seek out green rentals when looking for somewhere to live is growing, and the reason why that should be the case is obvious if you step back and think about it.
Renters, for the most part, are younger, with the 25-34 age bracket forming the majority here in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics, and it’s arguably this demographic who are most aware of the climate crisis facing the world today.
Aside from increased interest, what other benefits are there for landlords?
If having tenants fighting to rent your property isn’t enough, here are a few other reasons why residential landlords should consider being more eco-friendly:
You could potentially save money
If you offer your rental with utility bills included, upgrading your property’s green credentials will have an impact on your bottom line. Energy bills can be the bane of landlord’s lives (especially those whose tenants love to leave the heating on even when they go to work!), so switching to smarter tech can have a dramatic impact.
And make more, too
With additional competition between tenants to secure your rental, you may be able to up what you charge in rent each month, thus bumping up your annual income. Tenants are often willing to pay a little more for properties that are fitted with smart tech, and better facilities will also have the added bonus of attracting high quality tenants, too.
Your EPC rating will improve
All landlords will by now be aware of governmental pressure to upgrade their rentals in order to meet the minimum standards in terms of EPC ratings. Not only that, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are likely to become tighter still as we move towards 2030.
The government has committed to lowering carbon emissions significantly by then and inefficient housing is a key target. Furthermore, all buildings will be required to have next to no CO2 emissions by 2050, so going as green as you possibly can now will likely save you a fortune in retrospective fitting as the goalposts move ever closer together.
You’ll be doing your bit for the planet
Finally, there’s a more altruistic reason: doing what’s right by the planet and future generations. Most of us are now in agreement over the need for change if we humans are going to continue to thrive on this pale blue dot called Earth, and landlords can do their bit by lowering the impact their businesses have on this ball of rock we call home.
What can landlords do to become more eco-friendly?
So now we know the reasons why, let’s take a quick look at some hows, shall we?
Install smart tech to control heating
We’ve already mentioned this in passing above, so it’s no surprise to see it here. Smart tech is improving all the time and it can be a fantastic way to take your rental to the next level in the eyes of eco-conscious tenants.
Homes without smart heating are neither pocket-friendly or eco-friendly, so this should be one of the jobs you tackle if you want to become a greener landlord.
While controlling the heating system more intelligently is a tangible demonstration of a landlord’s commitment to all things eco, insulation is a behind the scenes essential. Without good insulation your property will leak heat regardless of how it’s delivered, so this really should be addressed first.
The Energy Saving Trust has reported that as much as 25% of a property’s heat can be lost via a badly insulated loft, and a huge 65% through uninsulated solid walls. Take heed of these figures and take action.
Improve water usage
Whether you install something as simple as a new shower head or go down the route of putting in a dual flush loo, saving water is a big one. Landlord’s renting houses can go one step further and take the savings outside, too, with a smart sprinkler. Some will even follow weather reports to ensure usage is kept to an absolute minimum!
Intelligently illuminate the home
Lighting is another huge drain on energy, be it through misuse - i.e. lights being left on in unused rooms - or inefficient bulbs being installed.
For quick savings, make sure you have LED bulbs throughout. If you want to take things to the next level, sensor lighting that can detect movement will allow only areas in use to be illuminated unless overridden by a switch, thus ensuring unnecessary usage is no longer an issue.
Are there any downsides for eco-friendly landlords?
All of the above makes being an eco-friendly landlord seem like a no-brainer. However, there are a few points that need to be addressed before we close this post.
The big one is the upfront cost. Performing all of these upgrades is going to set you back a bob or two, so you’ll need to run the numbers before you start. You are, after all, operating a business, so there needs to be a solid return on investment to warrant the changes.
Each landlord will have different figures to work with, so this can only be done on a case by case basis. Do the math to see if ‘greening’ works for you. Bear in mind that your tenants will be the ones who benefit if they pay the utility bills and consider just how long it’ll take for that initial cost to be recouped as well.
The bottom line here is tenants are increasingly looking to rent properties that meet a certain level of efficiency. Landlords will need to consider whether the increased interest they garner from improving their green credentials will result in favourable financial statements, as well as bear in mind the ever-changing legal aspect of running a residential rental business.
What side of the green fence you fall on will be an individual decision, but one thing remains certain: eco-friendly rentals are definitely in demand.
Are you a landlord with a property portfolio in East London and/or West Essex? Need guidance on getting the most from your buy-to-let business? Want to remove the day to day hassles of looking after your rentals? If these questions resonate with you, pick up the phone and talk to one of our friendly agents.
Petty Son and Prestwich have been operating in E11 for well over a century and both our lettings and property management teams are here to help. Whether you’re looking for a full service management package or merely want a market leader to offer your property to the widest range of tenants possible, give us a call.
We’d be delighted to serve you and your business.