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Conservation Measures for Rental Properties: A Guide for Owners

Summary: You might have heard of conversation measures in homes and office buildings, but what about rental properties? There’s an opportunity to not only help the environment, you can potentially boost rental demand as renters are looking for rental properties that prioritize sustainability and conservation. Here is our running list of conservation measures for rental properties.

 

[Disclaimer: We are not accountants, lawyers, or financial advisors, so please consult your own team of professionals about the topics covered in this article.]

 

In today’s eco-conscious world, more and more tenants are seeking rental properties that prioritize sustainability and conservation. As an owner, you have an opportunity not only to meet this rising demand but also to reduce costs and boost the long-term value of your property. Implementing conservation measures can be a win-win situation for both you and your tenants. 

Here’s our running list of conservation measures you can implement in your rentals. Let us know in the comments below if you have any other ideas for conservation measures!

 

1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

Consider investing in ENERGY STAR-rated appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers. The ENERGY STAR program is a voluntary initiative led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ENERGY STAR certified products use less energy than conventional products, leading to significant energy and cost savings for consumers, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

2. Switch to LED Lighting

Phasing out incandescent bulbs in favor of LED lights offers a twofold advantage: enhanced energy efficiency and a more extended bulb lifespan. Whenever we take over a property, we swap out incandescent bulbs for LED light bulbs. It’s important to point out that when we buy light fixtures, we make sure that it’s the type that takes LED light bulbs as opposed to having an LED filament. The reason is, if the LED filament malfunctions or reaches the end of life, you have to replace the whole fixture as opposed to replacing the light bulb. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Caption] New LED lighting for our rental property!

 

3. Embrace Programmable Thermostats

By allowing tenants to set their heating or cooling preferences, these devices can automatically adjust settings during times when the property is empty, saving energy and money. We use Nest thermostats in our short-term rentals and this has resulted in considerable savings. Nest thermostats have an Eco mode that sets the thermostat to more energy-efficient temperatures when it detects that the house is empty.

 

4. Install Water-Saving Fixtures

You might be surprised to learn that toilets account for a significant portion of water use in a typical home. On average, they are responsible for about 30% of a household’s total water consumption. This percentage can vary based on the efficiency of the toilets in use. Older, less efficient toilets may use more water per flush, while newer, high-efficiency toilets use significantly less water, thereby reducing the overall percentage of water consumption attributed to toilets in the home. We have been installing low-flow toilets in many of our units for several years now. 

 

5. Invest in Quality Insulation

Ensure all nooks and crannies, especially the attic and spaces around windows and doors, are well-insulated. This not only conserves energy but also ensures the comfort of your tenants.

 

6. Opt for Double-Pane Windows

These windows provide superior insulation compared to their single-pane counterparts, thereby ensuring better temperature regulation throughout the year.

 

7. Choose Sustainable Landscaping

Native and drought-resistant plants can significantly enhance the surroundings without guzzling water. Also, consider systems like rainwater harvesting or drip irrigation to make watering more sustainable. Many in our community who have rental properties in hot, dry climates have switched to desert landscaping. 

Desert landscaping in Palm Springs, California

 

8. Regular Maintenance to Seal Leaks

Periodically inspect and seal any leaks in your property. This simple step can prevent unwanted drafts, ensuring more efficient heating and cooling. Not only did this keep out drafts in one of our rental properties, it kept out mice too!

 

9. Harness Solar Energy

While it requires an upfront investment, integrating solar panels can lead to substantial long-term savings on electricity bills. This is one way to significantly enhance your cashflow by decreasing your electricity bill.

 

10. Adopt Green Building Materials

During repairs or renovations, prioritize sustainable materials. Bamboo, recycled glass, and reclaimed wood are excellent choices.

 

11. Educate and Engage Your Tenants

Open a dialogue with your tenants about sustainable living practices. Providing recycling bins, setting up a composting area, and encouraging energy conservation can transform your property into an eco-friendly haven.

 

12. Consider Roofing Alternatives

Green or cool roofing can be more reflective, thus absorbing less heat than traditional roofs. This change can considerably reduce cooling requirements during warmer months.

 

Conclusion

Being a landlord in the 21st century means recognizing the importance of conservation and sustainability. By implementing these measures, you can provide an environment-friendly space for your tenants, increase the appeal of your property, and play a part in the global conservation effort. After all, every step toward a sustainable future begins at home.

Do you want to learn how to creatively fund your real estate portfolio and achieve financial freedom? Join the conversation! Follow our Semi-Retired MD  Facebook page and join our Doctors or Professionals  group!

Semi-Retired M.D. and its owners, presenters, and employees are not in the business of providing personal, financial, tax, legal or investment advice and specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, which is incurred as a consequence, either directly or indirectly, by the use of any of the information contained in this blog. Semi-Retired M.D., its website, this blog and any online tools, if any, do NOT provide ANY legal, accounting, securities, investment, tax or other professional services advice and are not intended to be a substitute for meeting with professional advisors. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of competent, licensed and certified professionals should be sought. In addition, Semi-Retired M.D. does not endorse ANY specific investments, investment strategies, advisors, or financial service firms.

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Hi, we’re Kenji and Leti

we provide coaching and mentorship for doctors and high-income earners

Several years ago, we were newlyweds working as full-time hospitalists. On paper, it looked like we had everything: the prestigious careers, the happy marriage, the luxurious rental home, the cars, etc.

But in reality? Despite having worked for several years, we had very little savings. Despite our high income, we had very little freedom in terms of time or money.

One thing was clear: we had to do something.

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