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How to Make Your Rental Property Eco-Friendly


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11-07-2019 - By: Victoria Woods

We are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of humanity. The way we live our day-to-day lives is irreversibly damaging our planet, yet many people choose to do nothing about it. For some time now, scientists have been lobbying for change. However, only recently has humanity’s impact of the planet become a global conversation.

Hit programmes, like Blue Planet 2, are opening people’s eyes. Newspapers and news channels are reporting more on incidents (such as freak weather) which are directly linked to global warming. Many scientists, conservationists and environmentalists are conducting studies to assess the damage we are doing. What’s more, they are trying their best to inform the world of their findings and educate people on how they can make a difference.

It’s easy to blame the government, big corporations and harmful industries for the state of things. But that doesn’t solve anything. By transferring the responsibility, you justify your own inaction. One person can’t make a difference so why bother, right? Well, studies have shown that domestic households actually have the biggest impact on the environment. By cutting down on the energy we use at home, we can drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit. With an eco-friendly home, we can also decrease the amount of waste we produce and the amount of water we use.

If you own a property in Malta that you rent out, there are many ways you can make it more eco-friendly. Tenants can’t make the necessary sort of changes to rental properties, but owners can. If you rent out your apartment in Malta, here are some tips to make it more efficient. You will be doing your bit for the planet and potential tenants will be enticed by the possibility of reduced bills. Environmentally conscious renters, who can’t make changes to their rental properties, will look for an apartment to rent in Malta that’s eco-friendly. Here are some of the changes you can make to your rental property:

Install efficient appliances

Installing efficient appliances is a fantastic improvement for your rental property. Upgrading your existing appliances will definitely attract more tenants. The better the quality of your appliances, the more in-demand your property will be. It stands to reason that the more you invest in your rental property, the more you can charge in rent. If you’re only going to upgrade one appliance, definitely make it the AC. Your tenants will use this for heating in the winter and will probably run it almost constantly throughout the summer. If the AC isn’t efficient, your tenant’s bills are going to be astronomical. Washing machines, dishwashers, boilers, fridges and freezers are other big appliances which you could consider replacing.

Improve insulation

No matter how efficient your AC is, it won’t matter all that much if your home isn’t well insulated. Decent insulation will keep the heat in during the winter. It will also keep the heat out and keep the cool air in during the summer. You can improve the insulation of your rental apartment by installing double glazing. If you already have double-glazed windows and balcony doors, make sure they all close properly. Draught-proof your home by fixing any gaps under doors or cracks in the walls or floors. When your rental property is properly insulated, your tenants won’t be wasting the money they spend heating or cooling it.

Encourage recycling

Encourage your tenants to sort out their waste. Towards the end of last year, Malta introduced an organic waste system. Now, four different kinds of waste are collected regularly. Several times per week, mixed waste (black bag), organic waste and recyclable waste are collected. Once a fortnight or once per month, glass is also collected. By providing separate bins for the different kinds of waste, you will be encouraging your tenants to sort it out. You can even buy ‘double bins’ which can take both mixed waste and recycling, and then provide an organic waste bin and perhaps also a container for glass jars and bottles. Give your new tenants the waste schedule for your locality and also tell them what time the waste is collected, because it does vary between different areas.

Install a water filtration system or a water cooler

Most people in Malta drink bottled water. Although the tap water is reportedly safe to drink, it doesn’t taste particularly nice. This is why the majority of residents choose to drink bottled water instead. Even if your tenants buy 2-litre bottles, they’ll still go through hundreds every year. By simply providing a water cooler, you will drastically reduce the number of plastic bottles they will have to buy and use. They can get the big water bottles delivered (19 litres) and it saves them the hassle of having to carry big packs of water from the supermarket. Even better, you can install a water purification system. With this, you can add an extra ‘drinking water’ tap to the sink. This would be an appealing feature to any prospective tenant.

Install solar panels or a solar water heater

These are the two most expensive improvements on the list, but they are definitely worth it, if your budget allows. There is a government grant scheme in place for both solar panels and solar water heaters. The successful 2018 schemes have both been extended for 2019. With the schemes, you can claim money back on the costs of buying and installing solar panels or a solar water heater. For the former, you can claim a 50% refund up to €2,300. For the latter, you can claim 50% up to €700. Although it may seem like it’s a waste to install these in your rental property (because you won’t be using them yourself), it’s better for the environment and will certainly be attractive to tenants. If they know they won’t be getting an electricity bill (or at least a reduced bill) thanks to the solar panels, they’ll be happier to spend a bit more on rent. This means more money for you in the long run!