Energy Saving Tips for Renters

You don’t have to be a homeowner to make your property more energy-efficient – just a few simple quick fixes could save you significant amounts of money on your heating, water, gas and electricity bills. However, if you have questions or need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to your apartment manager or landlord.

Low-Flow Showerhead
Temper your hot water usage and the amount of water you use by installing an energy-efficient low-flow showerhead in your shower. If you can’t install one yourself, talk to your landlord or apartment manager about having one installed.

Water Collection
When you run your faucet or shower until cold or hot water comes out, you are essentially wasting a good deal of water and sending money down the drain. Consider using a bucket or pitcher to collect water until the desired hot or cold temperature is achieved. You can then use that collected water to manually flush a toilet, water plants or wash things around the house.

Full Loads
Instead of washing a handful of clothing at a time, save energy and money by washing full loads. This can also be applied to using a dishwasher. More loads equates to more energy spent and money out of your pocket.

Window Covers and Solar Shades
Keep windows that receive direct sunlight throughout the day covered to keep the inside of your apartment cooler throughout the day. In desert climates such as Arizona, consider having solar shades installed to deflect sunlight.

Air Circulation
Open your windows to promote cross-circulation in the mornings and when there is a breeze. This can help keep temperature down throughout the day and, in turn, lower A/C usage.

Furniture Obstruction
If your couch is positioned over your air vent, it reduces the amount of air flow, which means your A/C or furnace is working that much harder. By positioning your furniture to promote airflow, your apartment will heat and cool faster, thus saving you money on your electric or gas bill.

Thermostat Setting
Consider turning off the thermostat or adjusting it for when you are not home. You can save energy and money by only running you A/C or furnace when you are home.

Timers
Leaving the lights on all day long can be a big energy drain. Instead of leaving the lights on, buy timers to program a custom light schedule for throughout the day.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use far less energy and last far longer than traditional light bulbs, and they are relatively cheap! Swap out your standard bulbs for fluorescent ones to reduce energy costs.

Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Even if they are not on, appliances and electronics still draw electricity when plugged in. Consider unplugging seldom-used appliances and electronics when not in use. You can also buy a power strip to control multiple electronics and appliances at the same time.

Recommendations for your landlord: Speak to your landlord about making bigger energy-saving changes – they might be more open-minded about making energy-efficient improvements to the property than you’d think.

Common Mistakes When Renting Out Your Properties

If you’re renting out a property then it’s incredibly important to make sure that you invest a little time and money into making it look as attractive as possible and that you use the best techniques when it comes to designing the layout and making your home look comfortable and new attractive. When it comes to making the most from this investment property, the single most important measure is to make sure that you don’t end up going months without having anyone in your property. Here we will look at how to spend the money and design your rooms to avoid putting people off of living in your building by looking at some of the most common mistakes that landlords make.

Not having correct documentation

Even if your state allows for an oral lease agreement, having a signed lease is just the smart thing to do. Make sure your lease agreements cover all your bases. Often, standard forms you find online won’t be specific to your property. Topics such as property management, late payment fees, or pet policies can and should be covered in a separate, signed document you draw up yourself. Providing a document with specific stipulations will help you deal with troublesome tenants in cases where they break the lease.

Discriminating against prospective tenants

Protect yourself from legal trouble by being familiar with fair housing laws. Make sure your listings aren’t targeting or excluding specific groups. When you meet with a tenant for a showing, asking questions about disability, marriage, or familial status could also suggest discriminatory intent. If you turn down a renter’s application, use a credit or background check to support your decision.

Neglecting to buy correct insurance

Renting out your property exposes you to a higher risk for accidents, and homeowners insurance may not offer complete coverage if your home is being rented out full time. Protect yourself from damages, accidents, and financial losses on your rental property by purchasing landlord insurance coverage. You can also require renters to buy renters insurance to protect their own belongings, since landlords insurance does not cover the renter’s possessions.

Failing to disclose important information

If you’re aware of mold, lead, or asbestos on your property and don’t notify your tenants, you could be breaking your state’s laws. Be aware of the disclosures you’re required to give renters and make sure you comply with them.

Being lax about screening

It’s smart to be picky about who you allow to live in your property. Finding a tenant who pays the rent on time and will be a responsible renter will make your job a lot easier. Requiring a credit check and completing a thorough background check before you approve a renter will help you single out good renters.