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Eco-friendly ways to increase your rental income

By Donna Jones

As a landlord, one of your top priorities is maximising the profitability of your rental properties. Over the years, we have seen many of our clients improve profitability by implementing certain green measures. In part two of our series, we’re going to talk about specific eco-friendly measures that can directly improve the profitability of your rental portfolio.

Manage rubbish removal fees

Help your tenants reduce the amount of rubbish they produce to ensure you won’t be liable for extra rubbish removal fees. Here are some eco-friendly ways you can help your tenants reduce their rubbish output:

• To encourage your tenants to recycle, provide clearly marked outdoor recycling bins in an accessible location. You may also want to consider including an attractive dual rubbish bin for the tenants to use within their home. When recycling is easy and convenient, tenants are more likely to comply.  Of course the CCC provides a recycling bin as part of the council rates, however other council are still to implement this.
• Create a composting area for food and garden rubbish and make sure tenants know how to use it. This can significantly cut down on rubbish output and provides a source of rich compost material for landscaping.

Protect yourself from water charges

Currently, Christchurch households are not charged individual water usage fees, but the city monitors residential water metres to identify households who use an excessive amount of water. In early 2015, the city council announced plans to eventually roll out a water charge scheme for residential properties in Christchurch. By implementing water charges, the council hopes to encourage responsible water usage and conservation. For these reasons, you may wish to consider introducing water-saving devices in your rental properties. These devices are inexpensive, easy to install, and require very little ongoing maintenance. Some of the devices you should consider include:

• Low-flow shower heads can reduce shower water usage by up to 40%
• Low-flush toilets (also called low-flow or high-efficiency toilets), which use up to 50% less water per flush than ordinary toilets
• A water tank to catch and store rainwater for use in the garden

Insulate to minimise maintenance and repair costs

Some eco-friendly changes can actually reduce the wear and tear on heating and ventilation systems, thus reducing your maintenance and repair costs over time. For example, efficient insulation allows for better temperature regulation. When a property is able to maintain a comfortable temperature, tenants won’t need to run central heating as frequently, resulting is less wear and tear on the system. Not only will your expensive HVAC system last longer, but you can feel good about doing your part to reduce our carbon footprint and lowering your tenants’ gas or electric bills.

Maximise occupancy rates

As we mentioned in the first part of our series, many people are attracted to eco-friendly rental properties because they know these properties will help them save money and benefit the environment. As a landlord, you know that the best way to increase profitability is to ensure that your property is occupied as close to 100% of the time as possible. Consider making your home eco-friendly and marketing it as such to keep your occupancy rates high.

“Green leases” are becoming popular among residential and commercial tenants in other countries. A green lease is an arrangement between the landlord and tenant that establishes how a rental property will be used to ensure the least amount of impact to the environment.  Green leases are attractive to landlords and tenants alike because they equate to savings for both parties – and the hope of preserving the environment for future generations. We expect this concept will soon take hold in the Christchurch rental market as more and more people recognise the value of an eco-friendly rental.

Photo Credits

3D Green Home by www.StockMonkeys.com,CC BY 3.0
Recycling by Steven Leith, CC BY 2.0

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