How Landlords Can Make More Sustainable Rental Properties

Did you know that buildings currently produce 39% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Green Building Council. This highlights why there should be regulations around how properties are designed.

Renting or buying a property in the UK is extortionate, and yet according to polls renters and buyers are more willing to pay more for properties that are sustainable and have a better energy efficiency.

As a result, we’re looking at some of the ways landlords can create more sustainable rental properties.

What kind of energy efficiency upgrades can you do on a property?

One of the first things that comes to mind when deciding on making a property more sustainable is looking at energy efficiency upgrades. This can come in the form of energy audits, energy efficient appliances and even something as simple as improving insulation.

Conduct an energy audit

Before implementing any energy efficiency upgrades, landlords should consider conducting an energy audit. This assessment will help identify areas where energy is being wasted and prioritise improvements. Energy audits can be conducted by professionals or through online tools and software that analyse energy consumption patterns. 

By understanding the specific energy needs and inefficiencies of a property, landlords can make targeted upgrades for maximum impact.

Install energy-efficient appliances and lighting

One of the most effective ways to improve energy efficiency is by installing energy-efficient appliances and lighting. Landlords can opt for appliances with high energy efficiency ratings, such as Energy Star certified models. 

Additionally, replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs can significantly reduce electricity consumption. These upgrades not only reduce energy usage but also enhance the property’s overall appeal to tenants.

Improve insulation and seal air leaks

Proper insulation and sealing air leaks are essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment while minimising energy waste. Landlords can insulate walls, roofs, and floors to prevent heat loss during colder months and heat gain during warmer months. 

Additionally, sealing gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and other openings can help prevent drafts and energy leakage. These measures contribute to improved energy efficiency, reduced utility bills, and increased tenant satisfaction.

Install water conservation measures in a property

Water consumption is one of the biggest forms of energy usage because not only does the cleaning of water and the distribution of water require electrical consumption, but the heating and cooling of water requires energy too.

Install low-flow fixtures and faucets

Water conservation is another critical aspect of creating sustainable rental properties. Landlords can replace standard fixtures and faucets with low-flow alternatives, which limit water flow without sacrificing performance. 

Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets can significantly reduce water consumption and lower utility bills. Surprisingly even dishwashers are more efficient than washing up by hand! Moreover, these upgrades demonstrate the landlord’s commitment to sustainability and resonate with environmentally conscious tenants.

Implement smart irrigation systems

Landlords with rental properties that include gardens or outdoor spaces can conserve water by implementing smart irrigation systems or installing a water butt. These systems use weather data and soil moisture sensors to adjust watering schedules based on actual plant needs. 

By avoiding overwatering and ensuring efficient water distribution, smart irrigation systems minimise water waste and promote healthier landscapes. Landlords can also educate tenants on proper watering techniques and the importance of water conservation.

Educate tenants about water-saving practices

Effective communication and tenant education play a crucial role in promoting water conservation. Landlords can provide tenants with information on water-saving practices, such as shorter shower durations, turning off taps while brushing teeth, and reporting leaks promptly. 

Additionally, landlords can share resources, such as brochures or online materials, that highlight the importance of water conservation and provide practical tips for reducing water consumption. By involving tenants in sustainability efforts, landlords can create a collective commitment to water conservation.

Install renewable energy systems

Of course, if the running of a rental property requires energy and this is what makes the property unsustainable, then one of the first things you may want to do is install renewable energy sources.

Solar panel installations

The price of solar panels has decreased over the past decade and is expected to continue to decrease in the future. Solar energy systems generate electricity from the sun, reducing reliance on traditional grid power and combating the rising energy bills for tenants.

Landlords can assess the property’s solar potential and consult with solar energy professionals to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of installing solar panels. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, solar panels can lead to long-term cost savings through lower electricity bills and potential government incentives.

Air source heat pumps

An air source heat pump is a type of heat pump that can absorb heat from outside a structure and release it inside without using fossil fuels. It’s the exact same technology in your fridge that keeps your food cold by taking heat away!

When it’s cold outside, the air source heat pump can still make your home warm by taking heat from the outside air and bringing it inside. And when it’s hot outside, the air source heat pump can also cool your home by taking the warm air from inside and pumping it outside.

The benefits of installing an air source heat pump are that they are very energy efficient, which means they use less energy to heat and cool your home than other methods like electric heaters or air conditioners.

There is also a UK Government scheme to provide grants to property owners to help install a low-carbon heating systems like these.

Why Renters Pay More for Eco-Friendly Properties

Still not convinced make your property more eco-friendly is worth it? These are some of the reasons why it does matter to potential tenants.

Enhanced quality of life

People will pay money to feel better day-to-day if they can afford it. Living in an eco-friendly property can enhance a renter’s quality of life. For example, natural lighting, sustainable landscaping, and the use of eco-friendly materials can create a more pleasant living environment.

On top of that it will help to ease the tenant’s conscience if the environment is a issue they are concerned about.

Lower utility bills

Renters will enjoy the benefits of lower utility bills over time, which may counterbalance if their paying a higher monthly fee for the property. Energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and well-insulated properties can significantly reduce energy costs, and ultimately save renters money.

People prefer modern amenities

Tenants don’t want the hassle of having to sort out tired amenities if they break or go wrong, which is why they will be comforted if the property has newer green appliances and smart home amenities.

On top of that, newer appliances and amenities will come with warranties, meaning that it’ll also save you money if something goes wrong and it needs replacing.

With a little effort, landlords can make a big impact on the environment while also improving their property management without necessarily reducing rental income.

Omar Agor-Wood
Omar Agor-Wood

Omar is a digital marketer by day for one of the UK's largest environmental consultancy companies, and is writing like the world depends on it for Pick Ethical at night. He has a passion for hiking, bouldering, and making a fuss of his dog.

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