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Sustainability and the business of being a landlord

Posted by Rona Fischman February 28, 2012 02:14 PM

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Last week, I wrote about how increased rental cost has created greater hardship for area renters. With roughly one out of four households spending half of their income on housing, we have a lot of people finding it hard to live here.
Yes, we are in a wealthy area, with an Area Median Income of $91,600 for big chunks of eastern Massachusetts. People earning 50 percent of AMI are earning $45,800. If that person is a single parent, things are tough.

As rental costs go up, more tenants are being stretched to cover their basic life costs. These costs are: housing, utilities, food, transportation, child care, personal and household needs, health care, taxes, (less) tax credit.

This burden of high rent, which causes people to stretch to spend more than 30 percent on housing gets that much worse when they rent an apartment that is a heating fuel hog.

Now a word to the landlords out there:

In many cases, tenants carry the burden of heating costs. However, it is in the interest of landlords to make their buildings more energy efficient. In the long run, such measures can decrease turnover as well as decrease common area utility bills and water bills.

HEET will host a workshop on March 3rd at MIT, helping landlords learn how to reduce tenant turnover, water bills and common-area electric bills through energy efficiency. The workshop will also connect landlords with many valuable free services such as solar panels, energy assessments and email alerts when water use skyrockets.

I like this sort of thing. Iíll be there. Landlords, are you game? Can you see how making your building run more efficiently could be good for your bottom line (and good for the world?)

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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