The Green Landlord

What Is A Green Landlord?

The world today is becoming very focused on maintaining our environment and creating a sustainable future.  Have you thought about the impact you can make as a Landlord or letting agent?  In this article we explore a variety of ways in which you can implement some green changes into your business plan, which ultimately tick the sustainable box, but just might make your property more attractive to prospective tenants and save you some money along the way too.

Being Green Can Save a Landlord Money

As a Landlord you may think that implementing ‘Green’ initiatives into your properties equals large £.  However, that is not always the case there are low value investments that can still deliver great efficiencies and sustainable practice.  For example… a Landlord you can purchase new efficient A rated appliances when kitting out a new property or replacing worn out models, install low flow shower heads, harvest rain water, install weather stripping on draughty doors and windows, fit reflectors behind radiators, put a jacket on your hot water tank, install energy efficient light bulbs throughout your house – a great bonus also for your Tenants as they last longer than the conventional type.  Write to your tenants let the them know you take sustainability seriously, ask them for any ideas they have and offer some advice on what changes they can make to be a ‘Greener’ Tenants….this could also benefit you as a bit of free publicity, I’m sure your tenants will be talking about it to their friends, work colleagues and even family.

Encourage recycling with your tenants.

Whether in your welcome pack or the circular mentioned above, include a list of the local recycling centres.  Maybe even make space to have a large plastic storage box located in the kitchen, under the stairs or in the garden for tenants to store their recycling.  You could provide a compost bin for your tenants to use, which would also provide you with free compost when it comes to maintaining the properties garden and could even save you money in recycling the garden waste produced during your maintenance.

Switch to an electricity supply that is carbon free!

The Good Energy Company are a 100% renewable energy supplier.  All of the electricity they supply comes from renewable sources.  They invest in renewable energy generation and support independent generators – they believe that energy generation should become part of the community so that we value it more and use it less.

Offset your emissions with a compy such as Climate Care – Carbon offsetting enables you to take responsibility for the carbon emissions your activities create by paying someone to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere on your behalf.   They invest in projects such as hydro power in Mani, bagasse power in India and the like while adding benefit to communities, reducing emissions and improving lives across the world.

Offer free bikes to your tenants.

Bill Free Homes in Durham have teamed up with a local bike recycling charity to offer free bikes to their tenants.  This is a great way of encouraging tenants to get around on carbon neutral transport while offering the added advantage of getting around for free.  A list of nationwide bike recycling centres can be found on an interactive map within this Guardian news article.

Encourage responsible energy management.

Often when tenants are sharing a property each individual has a different opinion about what an optimum room temperature should be.  One wants the heating on 25°C while another thinks it is too hot and regulates the temperature by opening a window.  This casual attitude to energy usage is something which can be easily regulated with a Robust Tamperproof Thermostat.  These simple units also offer you the added advantage of offering an all inclusive package for bills so that your tenants pay the same monthly rental amount throughout the year which will help them to budget and give them peace of mind, especially in the current market.  This could be a great unique selling point for your marketing strategy.  You may think that installing a Tamperproof Thermostat is taking energy control to the extreme, but the E817 Set-Back thermostat regulates to a pre-set ambient temperature while also allowing the tenants to push a boost button (which initiates a higher temperature for a pre-set period) if they feel the need, therefore ensuring smaller bills and comfortable tenants.

If cash flow is proving a challenge in your green ambitions, then look to your local authorities and Councils.  Many of them offer grants to Landlords looking to install green technologies, or improve on energy efficiency – from free insulation to grants for solar panels and in some cases tax breaks.  It really is well worth the research into what is available to you.

So why should you make the effort to become a ‘Green’ Landlord?

Well you might argue that it will help you attract and retain good tenants, you could use it to your advantage to give you a competitive marketing edge and you could even get government rebates and tax deductions for improvements that will make a real difference to the value of your property and protect your investment for the future.

Being a ‘Green’ Landlord shouldn’t be seen as a chore, it should be seen as something to be proud of!