Cater for ‘eco tenants’ says Burnley lettings agency

A LETTINGS agent which has an office in Burnley is urging landlords to invest in environmentally-friendly features in response to increasing demand from tenants.

According to Belvoir, in Padiham Road, a growing number of tenants are now insisting on green features.

Belvoir managing director Dorian Gonsalves said: “Until now, it’s mainly been home-owners 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.”

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For landlords keen to capitalise on this growing market, Belvoir has identified a series easy eco-friendly modifications that will appeal to “eco tenants”:

Recycling and composting area – To recycle “green” waste, allocate a spacious outside area, ideally close to the kitchen.

• Water butt connecting to the gutter system – Each year 85,000 litres of rainwater runs off the roof into a sewer but it can be recycled.

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

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• 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, tenants 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%.

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• 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 25 watts of energy to put out a daylight equivalent of 100 watts.

• Loft Insulation, which reduces annual heat loss by 15% and saves one ton of carbon dioxide a year. Insulation made from 90% recycled plastic bottles will add extra appeal.

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• Condensing boiler, which saves about 1.7 tons of carbon dioxide and £200 a year.

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.