You may have found with student tenants the same things that many estate agents are increasingly finding in the general population. A more eco-conscious generation of renters, from millennials and upwards, are demanding living space that respects the environment. While altruism may be at the heart of the issue for some, most are aware of the cost benefits of energy saving appliances.
Nearly Half Consider Environmental Impact
A recent industry survey found that 42% of tenants consider the environmental impact of a property. At the very minimum, they are scrutinising the EPC rating. Some properties will even be rejected for having a low rating in favour of those that are higher. You’re likely to experience this increasingly from students for many reasons, not least of all budget.
The Higher The Rent, The Higher the Standards
If you’re charging a higher rent, your student tenants will have higher expectations on energy savings. Today, they expect energy band or the EPC rating to be a mitigating factor. For low-rated property, they expect cheaper rents to offset against high energy costs. For those with a higher band, they expect (and are willing) to pay more rent. Therefore, it makes business sense for you to become an eco-warrior – less money to the energy company and more in your pocket. Green technology for your property is an investment.
Eco Changes to Consider
Aside from the obvious, installing an energy efficient boiler, signing up for a variable rate tariff, and replacing insulation, there are other steps you might consider, some aren’t as expensive.
- A water but in the garden to collect rainwater, either to use it to water the plants or as a system of brown water reclamation & use for the toilet. These will reduce water consumption and keep costs down
- While we on the subject of water, switch the toilet control to one with a dual flush system (short and long flushing) and low flow showerheads. The latter will save arguments about who used all the hot water
- Check the seals around windows every year. You’d be surprised at how much energy is lost through them, plus your tenants will turn up the heating to compensate, meaning lost energy and unnecessary expense
- Keep a supply of energy saving light bulbs in the accommodation and let your student tenants know about them. They won’t be tempted to buy cheaper options with higher energy consumption
- Replace small electricals and white goods with eco models as they break down rather than buying cheaper old second-hand models. This too will keep energy consumption and costs down
- Draught excluders for the doors may not seem like a big deal, but their job is to stop heat escaping under interior and exterior doors