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Environmental impact of rental property is major issue for tenants

In this day and age, people are taking green issues far more seriously. And this extends to tenants, who are increasingly seeking out environmentally-friendly, energy efficient homes.Online research carried out by YouGov on behalf of PC World Business recently revealed that a rental home’s environmental footprint is now a very important consideration for tenants in the private rented sector. Some 80% of those surveyed said that property owners/landlords should give consideration to the environmental impact of their property, as well as implementing measures to ensure it is environmentally-friendly.

In particular, those who participated in the study would expect to see a smart meter fitted into their property, with 32% of renters saying that they would want a smart meter to be included in the overall cost of their furnished rental home. By contrast, the research showed that only 6% of tenants would expect to have a security camera in place, while even wireless broadband as standard (19%) was much less in-demand.

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Meanwhile, more than half of those surveyed (55%) said that they would rather opt for a rental home with a smart meter than one without if the rental costs were identical.

As a landlord, of course, you want to keep up to date with the zeitgeist and cater towards the needs of modern-day tenants, whether that be fast broadband connection or a greater focus on green issues.

More and more research in recent times has been telling us how important energy and the environment are to tenants, with energy efficient utilities and appliances high on the agenda.

Making your rental homes more energy efficient won’t just be to your tenants’ benefit, in the form of lower energy bills and less wastefulness, it can also save you money and make your homes more desirable should you ever come to sell in the future.

The UK government is also coming up with plans to make homes more energy efficient, with proposals for energy suppliers to install smart meters – which allow people to have more control over their energy consumption and to see exactly what the energy they use is costing – in every single one of the UK’s 26 million homes by 2020.

This is part of a wider plan to update the country’s energy system and infrastructure, using recommendations from a study conducted by the (since axed) Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Some three million smart meters have already been installed. However, as things stand, the UK government is going to have to pull out all the stops to meet their ambitious 2020 target.

If you are a landlord looking to expand your portfolio, it is worth looking at  investing in new-build homes – which tend to be more energy efficient than older, more traditional properties.  On the other hand, with new-build it can sometimes be tricky to achieve the right yields compared to older properties.

Of course, every set of tenants has slightly different needs – for some good broadband will be the most crucial element, for others it might be the garden, the kitchen or space to park a car – so it’s impossible to try and be all things to all people.

When it comes to energy efficiency, though, research suggests that properties that are more energy efficient will have greater appeal. It’s also something you can use in your sales pitch to lure would-be tenants in. With people eager to improve and show off their green credentials, a home that is environmentally-friendly is something all landlords should aspire to.

For more information about improving your home’s energy efficiency, please get in touch with Letting Solutions on 01506 496 006.

As West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we provide a number of services to help you get the absolute most from your rental properties.

To find out how much you could be charging in rent, why not check out our free and instant valuation tool?