Whilst location and price are very important considerations when investing in buy-to-let properties, it is now worth looking at how eco-friendly a property is or could become. Obviously, research needs to look into the profitability of a property and its potential yields, but it is also worth investigating what green modifications can be made. According to Your Move research, private tenants believe the carbon footprint of a building is important when deciding on which property to rent. They are looking at the way their potential new home is built, insulated, heated and with which fuels, as these all make a contribution to carbon emissions. These factors can also affect the cost of bills on the property.
According to the research, 42% of tenants believe a building’s environmental impact is important when they decide to move home. In London, tenants are even more eco-friendly, with half of all tenants in the capital who answered the survey believing that environmental impact should be considered. There was also a correlation between how much rent is paid and how important it is for a property to be green. On average, tenants who pay more rent are more likely to value their home’s environmental credentials. Overall, 63% paying rent of £1,351 to £1,600 held green values as important. However, at the other end of the scale, just 37% of tenants who pay £350 or less had the same opinion. As well as green buildings, tenants also like green space, with 32% of those surveyed saying they are interested in a community garden, while 30% would pay more for an allotment to grow vegetables.
With going green such an important issue for high-value tenants, it could be worth marketing your green credentials or getting tenants to sign a green lease. This could be a promise that both parties will be as eco-friendly as possible. This could mean the landlord fitting more water-efficient showerheads, or LED or other energy-efficient lightbulbs, and making sure the property is properly insulated. Tenants could be encouraged to compost waste, be more economical with the heating and lighting, or use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
Your tenant could also pay the bills online, so there is no need for a paper invoice, including the rent. The money can be transferred directly to your app or bank account within seconds – with no need for paper bills or invoices or using petrol to collect the rent. Setting up a green lease means you and your tenant are working together towards a common goal – a healthier and greener environment.
Certainly, cutting down on administrative paperwork is one clear way for landlords to show how eco-friendly they are. Being as paperless as possible is a much better way forward. Landlords can invest in apps which will deal with a lot of the back-office duties, such as handling contracts, bills, invoices and conversations electronically. No need for printing out pieces of paper which can get lost and mean the loss of trees.
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