18 Mar Looking for Top Rental Property Tips? How to help your tenants stay warm & healthy this winter
There’s no doubt that in most parts of New Zealand, the winter weather is well and truly biting. At times like this, a rental property that’s well insulated and has energy efficient heating is very attractive to tenants. It also has benefits for the rental property owner/landlord.
How does property insulation benefit a rental property owner and tenant?
It benefits landlords because the home will be less prone to damp and deterioration – which means lower maintenance bills! It will also make the property easier to rent to good, long-term tenants – and lower tenant turnover also means less wear and tear on the property.
It benefits tenants because a warm and dry home is good for their health – cold and damp homes are linked to poor health, especially for babies and small children, older people and people who are ill. No one wants to have to take time off work or face unplanned medical bills for avoidable illnesses. Warm, dry homes are also good for a tenant’s wallet in another way because they’ll end up spending less on their energy bill.
In other words, a warm, dry home that’s relatively cheap and easy to heat is something that everyone wants – both landlords and tenants.
Our top rental property tips for protection against winter
The following winter protection rental property tips can help you ensure your rental property is warm, dry and more energy efficient – and it won’t cost you the earth to do so.
1. Make sure your rental property is properly insulated
Nothing beats a well-insulated property. A well-insulated home is warmer and healthier, and it will also save your tenants money on their energy bills. These are all property qualities that are very appealing to tenants.
In fact, new Government rules will soon make it mandatory for all rental properties to be properly insulated. You can read about this in more detail in one of our earlier blogs, including details of Government and Council financial assistance to help bring rental properties up to scratch.
For example, Auckland Council’s Retrofit Your Home scheme, which allows you to apply for up to $5000 worth of financial assistance to insulate or heat your property. If it was built before 2000 and you’re an Auckland Council ratepayer with good payment history. You can repay such assistance over nine years through a targeted rate included on your rates bill.
Also, from 1 July 2016, grants will be available for ceiling and underfloor insulation through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants, subject to certain criteria. Landlords of the eligible tenants may have to make a contribution towards this.
Yes, while there is a cost involved in all aspects of ensuring your rental property is fit for tenants, it’s all well worth it in the long run. Not only will it keep the actual structure of the property healthy, thereby reducing maintenance costs, but it will also make the property more attractive to tenants and they will stay with you longer.
2. Help tenants save on their hot water bill
A large proportion – as much as a third, in fact – of any tenant’s power bill goes on hot water, especially if the hot water in your rental property is supplied via a hot water cylinder.
A very effective way to lower the power bill is to make sure the hot water cylinder and its pipes are insulated. You can help keep the heat in by using a hot water cylinder wrap – these are available from hardware stores. Also, make sure the thermostat of the hot water cylinder is set at 60oC at the cylinder and no more than 55oC at the tap (this will also prevent scalds). We also recommend that you fit a shower flow restrictor or replace showerheads with low-flow models.
These are all cost-effective options that will reduce the hot water flow rate and help save tenants heaps on their electricity bill, without impacting on their bath-time comfort.
3. Install a heat pump into your rental property
While installing a heat pump might seem like a big cost, a good quality heat pump that is well placed can heat a home very efficiently with surprisingly low running costs. You’re more likely to attract good tenants and keep them longer if your rental property is well insulated and comes with a good heat pump.
4. Inspect the roof and clear rain gutters
It’s important that you don’t skip these tasks, especially at the time of year when lots of leaves are falling because it could have a big impact on your rental property during the winter. Repairing any broken roof tiles or holes in the road will help to keep the structure dry.
Clearing out leaves and other debris from the gutters so they can easily drain water from the roof will prevent them backing up and overflowing into the roof and wall cavities, with resultant moisture and mildew problems – and a hefty repair bill.
At Fahey Property Management our rental property managers have a network of tradies who are on hand should you require this. Helping you maintain your rental property and investment is all part of our property management service.
5. Check doors and windows
It’s been said that up to 20% of heating can be lost through draughts. Locate problem areas around doors and windows where heat is most likely to escape, such as loose caulking, torn weather stripping, and gaps where doors and windows meet frames.
Make the time and take the effort to repair draughty gaps. Doing so will not only protect your valuable rental property from water damage but will also ensure the home stays warm and dry and save your tenants money on their heating bill.
6. Trim trees and hedges
Trim any trees or hedges that reduce or prevent sunlight from entering your rental property. Energy from the sun is free and can go a long way to help to keep a home warm and dry.
Remember, a warm, healthy tenant is a happy tenant – and happy tenants keep landlords happy too!
Looking for a tenant for your rental property? Or need to rent a home or apartment property in Auckland or Hamilton?
Contact Fahey Property Management now. As specialist property managers, we at Fahey Property Management can give landlords good advice on how to ensure your rental properties are set up to attract and retain good tenants. Our property management services include property maintenance, so we can arrange repairs to and maintenance of your property for you, including helping you make the improvements listed above.