How to Make Your Rental Property More Energy Efficient

Eco-friendly homes are not a new concept any more, and savvy investors realise that sustainability is increasingly important to renters – research shows this. Eco-friendly features can also be crucial when it comes to resale value.

For new investors sustainability can seem complex, with its many aspects, encompassing everything from building codes to government incentives and standards.

This blog introduces some key issues to investigate further, when considering improving the sustainability of your rental property. labels
Always try to buy the highest energy-rated appliances for your rental property that fall within your budget. Photo credit:


Making Your Rental Property More Sustainable

So first, let’s consider why so many investors are making their properties more sustainable.


Why Improve Sustainability?

The motivation can be ethical, driven by:

  • concern for the environment
  • caring for tenant well-being
  • personal values around sustainability.

Motivation can also be financial, aimed at improving rentability and sale value.

This is achieved by making the property more:

  • comfortable and liveable
  • water and energy efficient
  • competitive in the market.

Sustainability measures that reduce energy and water use, save tenants and owner occupants money on utility bills are the goal. Many will pay more rent (or a higher purchase price) to gain these savings, along with the positive feeling of living more sustainably.

Future thinkers can also have strategic motives such as meeting current and future:

  • local government requirements
  • state and federal government building standards.

Check out this WA Government page for more detail.

Whatever your own motives, remember sustainability is not just a feel-good idea – there are real financial opportunities for investors.


Sustainability Measures

Our focus here is on highlighting measures that can be retrofitted and are within reach of many landlords.

For example, this could include strategies to keep heat out (or in), reducing the cost of cooling and heating, like:

  • up-to-date ceiling/wall insulation – for insulation R-values, visit YourHome
  • draught protection using gap fillers / door and window seals
  • tinting, double-glazing, thermal blinds / curtains, and awnings to shade windows exposed to sun.

Measures to save on energy usage include installing:

Measures to save water include:

*NOTE: most landlords will only do upgrades as appliances need replacing.


Retrofitting Strata Properties

Many investment properties are strata titled. These owners face more constraints than owners of free-standing homes if they want to improve sustainability.

Yet sustainability enhancements are important to help established strata properties remain competitive with newer developments.

Thankfully, recent changes to WA strata laws make it easier to install sustainability features, such as solar panels and related utilities infrastructure, than it used to be.

For example: instead of an individual lot owner needing agreement from 100 percent of unit owners to install solar panels, they now need only 50 percent of owners to agree.

Owners who want to see their strata complex gain value and become more sustainable, can also lobby their strata council for retrofitted improvements that benefit the whole scheme. Obviously, it will be easiest to gain support for proposals that quickly cover their own costs, for example by saving on energy bills.

To help convince others, work out projected cost savings and check for government sustainability grants / rebates that help make improvements more financially viable. Money saved can fund other projects.

NOTE: Strata schemes implementing sustainable retrofits such as energy-efficient LED lighting in common areas have reported huge energy savings. Carbon monoxide sensors in underground car parks can also significantly reduce ventilation system energy costs.


So Where Do I Begin Making My Rental More Energy Efficient?

Why not give us a call?

The experienced property management team at We Love Rentals have a strong knowledge base, know what local renters look for in a property, and can refer you to sustainability experts if you need extra technical guidance.

We’re happy to help you begin your sustainability journey!

Why not email us or call (08) 6254 6300 for friendly, professional advice.

I am the licensee of We Love Rentals and provide support to the team whenever needed. I began my real estate career over two decades years ago. While I loved seeing people achieve their dream of a new home for their family, I kept thinking that there had to be a better way of doing real estate – one with respect for the long term benefit of the client and one that focuses on customer satisfaction.