Belvoir advises landlords to capitalise on tenants’ growing green demands

21 09 2010

Over the past 20 years the concept of ‘Living Green’ has embedded itself in the psyche of British consumers. From self-sufficient organic lifestyles to simple waste recycling, the level of ‘green’ involvement differs from household to household but the process is most definitely diversifying.

 Renting has traditionally been a major barrier to ‘Living Green’ as landlords are often unwilling to invest in green facilities. But according to Belvoir, which has an office on 42 Piccadilly, Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent, a growing number of tenants are demanding green features and landlords should respond accordingly.

 Belvoir managing director, Dorian Gonsalves said: “Until now, it’s mainly been homeowners who’ve embraced eco-friendly lifestyles. However, the recession forced many onto the rental market and, when combined with a growing number of young tenants who’ve been brought up green, this group is looking increasingly influential.”

For landlords keen to capitalise on this growing market, Belvoir has identified five easy eco-friendly modifications that will appeal to green ‘eco tenants’:

Recycling and composting area – All ‘greens’ recycle waste so allocating a spacious outside area close to the kitchen would be ideal.

Water butt connecting to the gutter system – each year 85,000 litres of rainwater runs off the roof into a sewer. Greens can use this water in a number of ways.

Outside washing line – Ticks a lot of green boxes over a tumbler – less energy, 100% natural and more efficient.

Growing space – Opposition to GM foods combined with world food shortages has recently given rise to home-grown vegetables. Designating a space for organic food growth is a real plus point for greens.

Cycle storage – Many greens opt for bicycle transportation over motor vehicles so a two or three bike invisible storage space can be very appealing.

And for landlords wanting an environmental overhaul, greens will also be impressed by the following water and energy saving eco-measures:

Aerated taps and shower heads, which mix water with air to produce a flow that feels strong but reduces water usage by 60%.

Radiator boosters, which suck the heated air from behind a radiator and circulate it around the room far quicker than natural convection.

Toilet water savers, which when placed in a cistern, reduce the amount of water used per flush, saving as much as 40% annually.

Eco-friendly A-rated white goods, which use less power.

Eco-friendly bulbs, which use 25watts of energy to put out a daylight equivalent of 100watts.

Loft Insulation, which reduces annual heat loss by 15% and saves 1 tonne of C02 a year. Insulation made from 90% recycled plastic bottles will add extra appeal.

Condensing boiler, which saves about 1.7 tonnes of CO2 and £200 a year. If this is too expensive then opt to ‘Tag on a Tadpole’. At half the price this ‘green gizmo’ minimises the dissolved air that makes water slower to heat up.

And for those wanting to go the whole hog there is the ultimate green accessory:

Renewable energy sources – by installing solar panels or tubes to produce hot water and photovoltaic (PV) panels to convert sunlight to electricity, you could tempt any green tenant and even sell excess energy back to the national grid!

 Dorian Gonsalves added: “All green modifications are major selling points and must be communicated well at letting time. They will not only facilitate the green lifestyles of tenants, they will also demonstrate that you are a caring and thoughtful landlord.

 “At Belvoir, we predict a growing tenant demand for green facilities in the coming years and will continue to advise landlords and tenants on how to capitalise on this market opportunity.”

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