Being a landlord has always meant treading a fine line between having happy tenants and also keeping costs to a minimum. But now, with the rising issue of the climate crisis, there is the environment to consider as well.
Whilst it might feel like water waste is a minor problem compared to fossil fuels, every bit of water that goes through the treatment system requires energy to power that factory, as well as chemicals to clean the water. By reducing the amount of water we’re wasting in the first place, it cuts down on these other elements further down the line.
But as a landlord, you’re unable to control how much water your tenants use. So how can you cut down on water waste in the properties that you manage? We take a look.
Install low-flow systems
Reducing the water flow of the biggest culprits like showers and toilets is a good way to reduce water usage at the source. Whilst your tenants might initially grumble a little about the reduction in water pressure, they’ll soon get used to it, and will enjoy the decrease in their bills too. If they’re very reluctant, you could negotiate a trial basis, and ask them to let you know after 6 months if they really aren’t happy.
There are two different types of low-flow showerhead: aerated and non-aerated. The aerated option adds air to the water stream, creating a soft, misty flow. Non-aerated uses smaller spray holes, reducing the amount of water coming out, but increasing the pressure by forcing it through the smaller gaps.
Maintain the pipework
Whilst a dripping pipe might seem more like an annoyance than a big water waste issue, more than 3 billion litres of water is lost due to leaky pipes. By completing regular maintenance checks, and encouraging your tenants to report any issues to you, you can keep the pipes working as they should. As a landlord, keeping the property in good working order is ultimately your responsibility – be sure to encourage your tenants to let you know if there are any problems so that you can act swiftly.
Between tenancies, make sure that the taps, shower and other water-using items are turned off, and then check the water meter. If it’s still going up, then you may have a leak somewhere.
Consider a dishwasher
Whilst dishwashers seem like they will use vast amounts of water, the truth is that they can actually be very efficient when they’re used effectively. In fact, some dishwashers are four times more efficient than washing by hand, so installing one in your rental property might go some way towards reducing your water usage.
However, you’ll also need to account for the extra energy that a dishwasher uses. Remember that even though it feels like this machinery will use more than running the tap, you’ll still need to use some form of energy to heat up the water that comes into the sink. Overall, dishwashers are still an efficient choice, even if you only have the space to install a slimline model.
Author: Hubert Day
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