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Landlord Advice: Cutting Costs and Building Relationships

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By : Shamon Kureshi    99 or more times read
Landlordʼs and tenants may not always see eye to eye, but there is one topic that they can always agree on: the lower the bills the better. From a landlordʼs perspective it makes sense to encourage tenants to use as little power and water as possible. The landlord may be charging a flat rate for utilities so its plain that they would want the bill from the utility company to be as low as possible. Even if they do not charge a flat rate, when the utilities usage decreases it implies that the amenities are also getting used less. When they get used less they break less and so in the long run could save a landlord a lot of money

Encouraging tenants to use less power is an easy conversation. Since the environment is on the forefront on everybodyʼs mind these days consensus building becomes easy when you broach the topic by saying, “It would be great if we could use less water and energy, it will save on bills AND itʼs good for the environment.” From a tenantʼs perspective it also makes a lot of sense to cut down the bills. Obviously if the tenant is paying their own utilities they will want the bill to be as low as possible. Even if the Landlord is paying the utilities (utilities included in rent) it still makes a lot of sense for the tenant - if for no other reason, “Itʼs good for the environment.”

Here are some examples of easy ways to save on utility expenses in any property:

  1. Fix leaking toilets. First check if itʼs leaking. Itʼs easy to do. Just add some die into the tank and wait an hour. If if the die appears in the bowl the toilet is leaking. More often than not it is just a case of a worn out plunger. Most any hardware store will be able to sell you a replacement for $20 or less. Theyʼre even easy to install.

  2. Install high efficiency toilets and showers. Some municipalities even offer compensation for people replacing old toilets with new high efficiency models. High efficiency shower heads can be a tough sell, but improvements in design have made it possible to create the same feeling of “pressure” while still using less water.

  3. Install low flow aerators in all the taps. This just mixes more air with the water so you use less every time you turn on a tap.

  4. Buy a drying rack. Especially in dry cities like Calgary a drying rack not only saves enormous amounts of energy by limiting the use of a drying machine it also ads a fragrant (Tide, Gain, or whatever you wash you clothes in) source of humidity to the air.

  5. If youʼre going to use the drying machine, make sure the vents and filters are all clear. The more readily air can come in and out of the machine the less energy it takes to dry the clothes.

There are many other ideas to cut the bills that Iʼm sure you can think of. Thereʼs a hidden benefit to having this discussion with your tenant or landlord, too: this is an easy topic that may open the door to deal with the issues that youʼre really concerned with, but donʼt want to bring up.

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