There's a growing demand from tenants for landlords to embrace conscious living and to be more eco-friendly. Figures from various studies including one by YouGov suggest tenants include green living as one of the things they look for in a rental property.
According to the survey, 80% of respondents thought landlords should think more about the impact of their property on the environment. These feelings are especially strong in millennials. And with this group making up a large core of the rental sector it makes sense for you as a private landlord to listen to their views.
Conscious living and mindfulness are phrases we hear more and more nowadays. 'Tree-huggers' or 'new age hippies' are sometimes associated with these terms. This is unfair. Conscious living to one degree or another is becoming important to many people.
Most of us apply conscious living principles, whether we're aware of it or not, to the choices we make about the environment. We chose to recycle. We try to live as plastic-free as possible. We strive to be more energy efficient and environmentally aware. And these are all things you can incorporate into your property business.
As a private landlord, you have a vested interest in energy efficiency. Your property must have an Energy Performance Certificate of course. But in what other ways can you make your rental more efficient and attractive to tenants? The answer is to embrace technology.
By 2020 all homes in the UK will be fitted with a smart meter. This will help your tenant monitor their energy usage and enable them to make better decisions on how they use their energy.
But you can go a step further by installing a smart thermostat. Hive and Nest are the most popular of these devices. A smart thermostat will be a huge tick in the box for many tenants. These devices make it much easier for the tenant to control their energy usage, to be more efficient and to save money on heating costs.
As with anything, tenant behaviour isn't anything you can directly influence. No one expects you to go around and sort rubbish into the appropriate bins. But you can facilitate more conscious living by providing the right bins and making sure the tenant is aware of collection dates, council rules and opening times of local waste disposal centres.
Make sure there are enough recycling bins for the property. HMOs will need more bins than an apartment for example. The bins should also be large enough to cope with the volume of rubbish. A small bin won't be sufficient for a family.
You should also ensure your tenant has copies of the councils recycling information. This will help them recycle efficiently and make sure they don't miss collection days.
There is a growing trend towards zero waste. This is where people endeavour to create no waste at all. To send absolutely nothing to landfill. It's very different from recycling.
Those who practice zero waste living see recycling as a last resort. As such it's a step well beyond most of us. As a landlord, there's little you can do to help. Zero waste comes down to a choice made by individuals.
However, one way you can help a tenant along the path to zero waste is by providing a compost bin. Obviously, this depends on there being an outside space but a composting system is a great way to help your tenant be more eco-friendly.
Making it as easy as possible for your tenants to reduce waste and to be eco-friendly will make your property easier to let. It will give you an edge over your competition. And making a real effort to reduce waste and create a more energy efficient living space can make a real difference to your bottom line. And you'll have the personal satisfaction of knowing you're doing your bit for the planet.
Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.