Going green, some might say, was once a trend and considered ‘cool’ to implement into daily living. However, I think that we can all agree that being environmentally friendly is no longer just a trend, but a necessity. It is something that we all have a responsibility for, especially since the implementation of the government’s net zero initiative.
As a landlord, you have a unique opportunity to contribute to a greener future while also attracting environmentally conscious tenants. Who doesn’t love looking after our planet?
In this guide, we’ll explore how you can create eco-friendly rentals that benefit both the planet and your tenants, making you the landlord of the year!
Why Eco-Friendly Rentals Matter
Before we dive into the practical steps, let’s understand why eco-friendly rentals are a wise choice for landlords. Why is this initiative so important? Let’s take a look.
Something that every person on this planet loves to hear about, cost-saving. Eco-friendly features often lead to reduced utility bills for tenants, resulting in reduced bills all around. Owning a property that is eco-friendly can make your property more appealing, allowing you to charge competitive rent while still offering cost savings to tenants.
Future-Proofing Your Investment:
As environmental regulations become stricter, properties with eco-friendly features may enjoy higher resale values and be less susceptible to future regulatory changes.
As you may know, since 2021 it was stated that properties with an energy efficiency of below ‘E’ cannot be rented out. By 2028, however, there will be an expectation to improve your property’s EPC rating to ‘C’ for all tenants.
So, if you begin implementing eco-friendly strategies onto your property now, you are more likely to have a fruitful investment.
Attracting a Growing Tenant Base:
As awareness of environmental issues grows, so does the demand for sustainable living spaces. By offering eco-friendly rentals, you can tap into a market of environmentally conscious tenants, potentially increasing your property’s desirability and occupancy rates.
Key Steps to Create Eco-Friendly Rentals
So, we know that we need to begin making our properties more eco-friendly, but what are the practical steps in being able to do this?
As mentioned above, ensuring that your property is rated as EPC ‘E’ is imperative, but there are a few other ways in which you can make sure your property is energy efficient.
By upgrading the insulation in your property, you will make it more energy efficient. Proper insulation can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. Consider upgrading insulation in your properties to improve energy efficiency.
Additionally, by replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models that bear the correct energy-efficient labels, your tenants will save on costs, using less energy.
As well as replacing old appliances, you can replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED lighting consumes less electricity and lasts longer, resulting in less cost. Installing smart thermostats that allow tenants to control heating and cooling should also be a part of making your property more energy efficient.
With regard to heating and cooling, installing a modern boiler will be another way in which you and your tenants can save money.
Although initially pricey, this type of investment has the potential to significantly or completely eliminate energy bills for your tenants. As long as your solar panels are south-facing, you could save between 40-50% in energy bills.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of water conservation are small things like turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth, or only filling up your kettle with enough water to make the right amount of cups of tea instead of filling it to the brim.
But, there are also other ways in which you can save on water as a landlord.
By installing low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets, water consumption will be less but tenants won’t suffer from low performance. As well as low-flow faucets, ensuring that regular maintenance is undertaken on faucets that leak and pipes will support your water conservation efforts.
What would an eco-friendly blog be without addressing sustainable materials?
Flooring – choose sustainable flooring materials like bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood for a more durable and eco-friendly option
Paint – use low-VOC (volatile organic compound) or zero-VOC paint to improve indoor air quality and reduce harmful emissions
Recycling and Waste Management
Reduce, reuse and recycle! We all know it and are familiar with the term, and there is a reason for it.
Make sure that you provide clear instructions to tenants on recycling and waste management. Ensure that recycling bins are readily available, and educate tenants on the importance of proper waste disposal if you feel the need.
When it comes to gardening, opt for native plants in your property’s landscaping. Native plants require less water and maintenance compared to non-native species. Additionally, consider using organic gardening practices to reduce the need for chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
Consider obtaining green certifications for your property, such as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme (MEES) or CEEQUAL certification, to name a few. These certifications can enhance your property’s eco-friendly reputation and appeal to environmentally-conscious tenants.