Q: Is it worth adding environmentally-friendly features to my investment such as solar panels or low-energy lighting? Will this attract tenants?
A: This has come up before, and I think it’s a really interesting question in the current market because we’re seeing increases in electrical costs and water costs. I had a tenant who lived in a property with solar hot water, and then moved to another property and couldn’t believe how much money he saved living in the first house – a thousand dollars over the whole year.
At the moment, however, tenants aren’t asking those questions in this market. I think it will become more relevant, and it’s also up to agents to demonstrate to the potential tenants what the savings will actually be if you are investing in the green, cost-saving measures. But I don’t think in the current market it’s a major factor for tenants.
I leased a property out five years ago, and it was a house that had won green awards for the way it was designed. When we originally advertised the property, we pushed those aspects of the property as benefits. Did it help us get more rent? I don’t think it has, and it’s been five years now.
I just don’t think it’s enough of a factor for tenants at the moment, I think really the rental cost is more of a factor for them than green features.
Lisa Indge, Director, Let’s Rent