In Portland, we’re lucky to live in a city that takes pride in its green initiatives. Surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests as we are, nature and sustainability are rarely far from sight or mind. And if you own a rental property in Portland, Oregon, you might have wondered whether you can make your property more sustainable. 

Some sustainability initiatives take a lot of time and effort. However, there are a lot of small, innovative steps to make your property more eco-friendly. So let’s dive into how to make your property more sustainable and the benefits that you’ll experience as a result.

The Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Property

As the world grows more conscious of how it uses energy and materials, making eco-friendly changes to your rental is a step toward sustainability. But making green changes to your rental property isn’t just a win for the environment. It can also help you attract more tenants who want to reduce their carbon footprint and make a difference in the world. It can even offer several financial benefits to your rental as well. 

  • Attract Eco-Conscious Tenants. In Portland, you’ll likely find many people actively seeking housing that helps reduce their carbon footprint. This will give you an edge in our busy rental market and help you find the best tenants.  
  • Save Money on Utilities. If you bundle your tenants’ utility bills into their rent, you’ll put more money into your pocket by embracing higher efficiency. 
  • Set Your Rental Up For the Future. It seems likely that sustainability will only grow in popularity and importance in the years to come. By making your rental more eco-friendly now, you’re investing in your rental’s future to keep it successful in the long term.

8 Ways to Make Your Property More Sustainable

Not every green project has to be as involved as installing a solar array on the roof. There are many faster and easy ways to make a huge difference in your property’s sustainability. Here are the top 8 ways to make your property more sustainable without breaking the bank.

1. Energy-Efficient Lighting

Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is a simple yet effective way to make your rental more eco-conscious. You can even paint your rental’s walls in lighter colors to maximize natural light during the day. 

2. Insulate Your Property

Over half of all the energy used in U.S. homes goes directly to heating and cooling. For that reason, ensuring your rental’s insulation is up to date can greatly impact its footprint. Ensure that doors and windows are properly caulked, and consider replacing older insulation that may not be as efficient or eco-friendly.  

 3. Support Eco-Friendly Transit

Portland is lucky to have a robust public transit system and a bike-centric culture. While most people will also have a car, you can encourage people to use more eco-friendly transit methods. Install bike storage on your property, such as sheds or locks. You can also include an electric car charging station to attract tenants who drive electric cars—they will likely appreciate all the eco-friendly actions you’ve taken to update your rental. In addition, you can provide your tenants with information about local bus or MAX stops to set them up for success in navigating Portland’s transit system.

4. Install Sustainable Appliances

Sustainable appliances reduce your rental’s carbon footprint and water usage and save money on the water and electric bill. If your appliances aren’t Energy Star-rated, you may want to consider replacing them. After the initial investment, you can also likely increase the rent to compensate for the higher-quality appliances. Your tenants will enjoy using new, top-quality appliances in addition to the ecological benefits.

5. Stay on Top of Maintenance

Efficiency is the core of sustainable initiatives. When you stay on top of your seasonal and regular maintenance, you’re helping make sure your property operates at peak efficiency. This means regularly servicing your HVAC system, caulking and insulating in the winter, fixing leaky pipes, and replacing inefficient fixtures. While making your rental greener, you’ll keep it in top condition and avoid the possibility of a costly repair from deferred maintenance.

6. Provide (and Encourage) Recycling and Composting

Recycling and composting are great ways to reduce waste in a consumption-heavy world. When you offer options for recycling and composting, you’re making it easy for your tenants to make sustainable choices. In addition, you might consider providing guidance on what your tenants can recycle and compost. Recycling options change from county to county, and people new to the area might be unfamiliar with what to recycle. Consider providing an informational pamphlet when your tenants move in, putting up signage in the recycling area, or including information in a newsletter.

7. Prioritize Electric Heating

In the Pacific Northwest, we’re lucky to have access to sustainable energy from hydroelectric power. As a result, when you opt for electric heaters rather than gas, you’re heating your property with sustainable energy rather than fossil fuels.

8. Have Your Tenants Pay The Electric Bill

When deciding how to structure your bills, you can consider a number of options. Tenants may find it appealing if the water, sewer, electric, and other bills are all bundled into the cost of the rent. However, if you separate the bills and have tenants pay for utilities, you can reap a couple of benefits. For one, the lower initial cost of rent may attract more tenants from a marketing standpoint. And when it comes to sustainability, tenants may be more conscientious about their water and electricity usage when they can see for themselves how much of it they’re using each month. 

Ready to Make the Most of Your Eco-Friendly Rental?

Whether you’re already making your rental more eco-friendly or looking for a partner to help with the transition, Rent Portland Homes is excited to help. Our years in the Portland rental market have given us deep insight into sustainability trends and how they interact with your rental’s profits. We can help you choose the most cost-effective modifications so you can make a difference in the world and your bottom line. Ready to learn more? Give us a call any time at 503-515-3170.