HOW LANDLORDS CAN LOWER THEIR BILLS
Landlords and property investors are in the business of making money.
They let properties to tenants for a certain income.
Property manager fees, overhead costs and maintenance can cut into that revenue.
Knowing how to reduce utility bills is one way to reduce costs and boost your payday.
Here are a few useful tips and how it’s done.
Tips for Reducing Gas and Electric Bills
Gas and electric are two common bills for any rental property. Here are a few ways to cut costs and reduce overhead expenses.
Clean HVAC Filters Regularly
Dirty HVAC filters force your system to work overtime and makes it less efficient. Change your filters every month and periodically check their cleanliness.
Warm air enters and exits a house through open spaces like windows and doors. Prevent heat from escaping by sealing these cracks using caulk.
Less draft means less need to crank up the heat or air conditioner (depending on the temperature outside).
Lower the Water Heater Temperature
Did you know that a few degrees could make a big difference in your heating bill?
Lowering the temperature on your water heater by 10 degrees can reduce costs dramatically (up to 20% per year).
The level of savings depends on how much water you use and what utility company you deal with.
Regulate Your Thermostat
Your water heater isn’t the only temperature you need to regulate. Programmable thermostats allow you to pre-program what the temperature of the house is and when the heat or air conditioner comes on.
Installing these thermostats isn’t enough — you have to show your tenants how to use them. Tenants who are responsible for paying utilities separate should be pretty interested in any tips you have for reducing costs.
Invest in Energy Star Products
Sometimes saving money takes an upfront investment. Installing Energy Star products can actually save you about £150 over 5 years.
Upgrade all of your appliances including the dishwasher, stove, and washing machine for maximum savings.
Install New Windows
Remember how we talked about drafts letting precious hot air escape (or cold air in the summer months when the A/C is running)?
Replacing your windows can help prevent air from escaping. Another added bonus is that quality windows offer noise reduction, which means less bickering with the neighbours!
Swap Light Fixtures for LEDs
LED lights are much more energy-efficient than outdated, incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. They use far less energy and may reduce your electric bill by as much as 25%!
The best part is, once you’ve replaced your bulbs with LEDs you can “set it and forget it”. These high-efficiency bulbs last an average of 10 to 15 years for long-term benefits and savings.
Consider Motion Lights
Do you own a large rental property? If so, motion lights can offer you security and peace of mind. Certain areas of the property should be lit at all times. These include hallways, entrances, and stairways.
Aside from these safety concerns, there are other areas that don’t need constant lighting — and that’s where you’ll find your savings.
Back entrances, driveways, or other less-commonly used areas can benefit from motion lights which only turn-on when they sense movement, reducing your electric bill and wasted energy.
Aside from cracks in your windows and doors, heat and cool air can escape through areas without proper insulation.
Unfortunately, most insulation is installed when a home is being built. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely revamp or remodel your home to properly insulate.
Try adding insulation to areas that are already open like the crawl space, basement, or attic or a quick and easy fix.
Replace the Boiler
Boilers burn a lot of energy and create big energy bills. Try replacing an outdated boiler with a new, energy-efficient model.
Not only does this save you money every month but most boilers come with a warranty that saves you in the event it needs repairs or replacing.
Try insulating the room where you house our boiler to maximize efficiency.
Tips for Reducing Water Bills
In addition to gas and electric bills, your water bill can hike up your monthly expenses. Here are a few ways to reduce these costs.
Install Low Flow Showerheads and Toilets
If your tenant enjoys taking 20 minutes showers, your water bill will skyrocket. Reduce how much they use by installing a low flow showerhead. These more efficient showerheads limit how much water comes out per minute.
Low flow toilet flushers are another way to reduce how many gallons of water are used.
A law was passed in the 1990s that requires all toilets have a maximum flush power of 1.6 gallons per flush. Outdated toilets used as much as 7 gallons per flush! If your rental property has older toilets, it’d be in your best interest to replace them.
Dual flush toilets are another great option and allow you to use smaller amounts of water for liquid waste and more for solids.
Leaks happen. From faucets to toilets and showerheads, even the smallest drip can equate to big waste and big water bills. In fact, minor leaks and drips can increase your bill as much as 10%!
Install a Faucet Aerator
Faucet aerators help reduce water flow out of existing kitchen and bath faucets. Depending on the style and brand, some aerators can reduce water flow up to 30%.
Benefits of Reducing Utility Bills for Landlords
Increase Your Revenue
Landlords invest in rental property to turn a profit. The fewer overheads you have, the more money you can make.
Increasing your revenue is the most obvious reason to reduce utility costs. But look at all of your utility bills and where you can make changes — water, utility, and electric.
In addition, make sure you’re regular checking your letting agent & their fees, to see if there is a better deal for your investment. Online letting agents offer far lower prices which could help boost your profits.
Increase the Value of Your Property
The money you save from reducing your utility bills can be used toward improving your rental property.
Even small changes like adding motion sensor lights and investing in energy-efficient appliances can provide major savings.
All of these small upgrades will make your property more attractive to future buyers.
Not only will it look better but it will also lower expenses, which is an attractive feature for both investors and tenants.
You Can Charge Higher Rent
Performing the upgrades mentioned above helps create a more desirable property, allowing you to charge more monthly rent.
If your property boasts brand new energy-efficient appliances, high-quality windows, and LED lights, tenants will be more willing to pay a higher price to stay there.
It will also create a nicer, more polished look.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Replacing older appliances and fixtures with new ones helps reduce the need for maintenance and repairs.
That means less money spent on contractors to fix both major and minor issues. Plus, newer, more energy-efficient appliances come with warranties that cover maintenance costs.
Benefits of Reducing Utility Bills for Tenants
Rent is More Affordable
If reducing utility bills for the landlord saves them money, it only makes sense that those savings trickle down to the tenant as well.
Rent is the biggest factor that determines whether or not a tenant can afford a property. That and utilities. Some tenancy agreements require the tenant pays for utilities plus rent.
Lower utility costs mean a lower monthly bill and more options when it comes to choosing a property.
Nicer Rental Properties
When landlords have more money to spend on the rental property, it means more upgrades, nicer features, and a more beautiful, efficient living space for you.