The smart home technology market has diversified considerably in recent years. Landlords who use smart home technology in their rental properties can reap the benefits and save money in the long-term. This article looks at how landlords can utilise smart home technology in their buy-to-let properties.
Like virtual reality headsets and 3D printers, smart home devices are at once becoming more affordable and sophisticated. From energy saving lights to integrated security systems, landlords can, and arguably should, make use of smart home technology in their rental properties.
Why, you may ask? According to recent figures, a house which incorporates smart home technology is easier to sell. This might well be true for rental properties. If a buy-to-let property makes use of smart home technology, then it makes sense that its market value will be higher and it will be more appealing to prospective buyers.
So how can landlords utilise smart home technology in their rental properties? As a landlord you will naturally be looking to save money and boost your bottom line, only spending where necessary. But by investing a little in smart home devices, landlords can make their property or properties more appealing to potential tenants, give their tenants another reason to remain in the property in the longer-term, and even allow them to charge a higher rent. But there are other reasons to install smart home technology in a rental property, which will benefit both landlord and tenant.
Landlords need to do everything possible to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties – and they need to act swiftly. New regulations, due to take effect on 1st April 2018, will require that properties rented out to tenants have a minimum EPC rating of E. This will only apply to new lets and tenancy renewals. However, by 2020, this will apply to all tenancies.
Not only will an energy efficient property meet the new regulations, but it will be easier to sell should you decide to. But by installing smart home technologies which make the property more
energy efficient, energy bills will be lower. Landlords need to think of what benefits them and the tenant, and anything which makes the property more energy efficient qualifies.
What can be installed to improve efficiency? Energy efficient light bulbs are ideal, while smart thermostats (allows the heating to be activated via an app), smart plugs, smart power switches and insulation technology all provide an affordable way to make the property more energy efficient.
Another area where smart home technology plays a role is security. This, again, is of benefit to both landlord and tenant. Landlords want to know that their investment is protected, especially if the tenant is away on holiday, leaving the property empty. Meanwhile, a smart security system will also make a tenant feel safer when they are in the property. A feeling of safety will encourage a tenant to remain in a property for longer, while the installation of a smart security system may allow the landlord to charge a higher rent.
What can be installed to improve security? Smart locks are now available, as are smoke alarms, while an integrated security system complete with security cameras and other devices will all help to make the property more desirable to tenants and easier to manage.
Smart home technology can enhance the experience of living in the property for tenants - which should be a priority for landlords, especially as it will help to reduce voids – but it can also make the property cheaper to run, easier to manage, easier to let, and easier to sell.
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