Attention Landlords: Here’s Why You Should Make Your Rental Home Greener and How to Do It

By Danielle King on 11 Jul 2013
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With energy prices continuing to rise, it is no surprise that the demand for energy efficient homes in Australia is growing rapidly. Recent figures collected by Just Change shows that 57 per cent of renters now take energy efficiency into consideration when selecting a rental property and 90 per cent would make changes if the home was their own. With this trend only set to grow, it wouldn’t make sense for landlords not to take advantage of this demand. Who knows? It could just give your property the rental boost it needs to put it above the rest.

Everyone wants to cut back on their bills – obviously. And with the influx of energy efficient technology, it’s now easier than ever to cut back on costs without sacrificing the comfort that comes with it. There are a range of options of to make a rental home greener, all of which have the potential to make a world of difference to prospective tenants considering your property.

Evidence from a Smart Money Australia (2008) survey shows than green homes are selling and renting 10 per cent faster than others, and on average collect a 10 to 15 per cent higher income than similar homes that are less energy efficient. Whether you have had a rental sit vacant and lost money or have simply contemplated ways that you might be able to drum up some more attention, energy efficiency could just be the thing you need to kick start the interest in your property over the competition.  

Not only is making your home greener likely to supplement the overall value of your rental, you can expect to be able to charge your tenants slightly more than you may have in the past because the energy efficient features will ultimately be saving the tenant money on bills.

So, how do you do it? The services of a BDAV Accredited Home Sustainability Assessor (AHSA) can help greatly, and are well worth seeking out advice. An AHSA will be able to tell you what is practical for your situation, and be able to provide you with the simplest solutions for your property.

But to begin with, some quick fixes include insulating the ceiling, draft proofing the external windows and doors and consider replacing any old electric hot water units with a more efficient unit (either gas boosted solar or instantaneous unit).  There are likely to be many other options available (depending on the property), and the services of an AHSA could quickly identify the most cost justifiable options for your property.  Due to ever increasing energy costs, these features can be very attractive to potential tenants and could bring in the extra attention your property needs.

About the Author

Danielle King is the founder and director of Green Moves Australia, a company that focuses on and promotes sustainability in the built environment. She is a highly qualified and accredited sustainability consultant, qualified carbon accountant, and teaches sustainability subjects at Swinburne.

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