Over a fifth of the UK population is now living in private rental accommodation, which means that landlords are playing more of a role in the impact of our homes on the environment than ever before. Both the construction industry and the property sector have a major part to play in shaping the environment of the future, and new guidelines and legal requirements have been assisting with this. Recently, attention has been placed on the responsibility to build more green homes, improve the efficiency of current properties and appeal to a more environmentally conscious generation.
With growing tenant numbers in the UK, there has been call for landlords to look at how environmentally friendly their properties are and what measures
they can take to improve these. There are many ways that tenants themselves can improve their environmental impact however certain measures, like loft installation and double-glazed windows, are up to the property owner. Eco-friendly measures often boost tenant demand for a property and convince tenants who are on the fence that this is the right property for them. Environmentally friendly landlords could see an impressive rise in interest after a survey commissioned by PC World Business and conducted by YouGov revealed that tenants are becoming more eco-conscious than ever before. A significant 80% of those surveyed suggested that landlords need to consider the environmental impact of their buy to let property. Furthermore, over two-fifths of tenants in the UK say that they consider how eco-friendly a property is before choosing whether to rent there.
There are also legal reasons for landlords to be eco-friendlier. In April 2018, it became a requirement for rental properties to have a minimum E rating on the Energy Performance Certificate rating scale (EPC). After April 2020, it will be illegal to rent out properties with an EPC rating of F or G and landlords will be given a warning then potential fines if they don’t comply.
Being eco-friendly is also good for a landlord’s bottom line. Many eco-friendly measures involve using less and saving more. Heat saving measures like double glazing and cavity wall insulation cut down on heating bills and also add value to the property. Other measures like choosing paperless billing can cut down on every day costs as well as reducing waste. Having up to date appliances and energy efficient technology is not only better for the environment, it can also reduce running costs and appeal to more tenants. There are other small eco-friendly choices that landlords can make in order to make their property more energy efficient, like replacing lightbulbs with LED ones, making sure there are recycling facilities and providing canvas shopping bags and reusable containers for tenants.
If you are considering becoming an eco-friendly property investor it is worth considering a new build or off plan development where sustainability is at the heart of the project. One example of these eco-friendly buildings is West Point Manchester, sold by RW Invest. This apartment building features low carbon technology, solar panels, an air source heat pump, underfloor heating, a heat recovery ventilation system and 100% energy efficient LED lighting. Modern, city centre apartments are in high demand from young professionals who take environmental issues seriously. To make sure their lifestyle is as sustainable as possible, choosing eco-friendly rental property is becoming a higher priority than ever before.