In 2023, protecting the environment takes centre stage in almost every aspect of our lives – and that includes our homes and business premises. In this article, we’re looking at green leases, and how to negotiate these with your landlord.
These days, more and more UK residents are choosing to rent rather than buy their homes. Alternatively, they may be looking to buy a property, like a flat, that is situated on leasehold land.
Either way, many tenants looking for long term accommodation are keen to make sure that their home is as eco-friendly as possible and are looking for what London lease extension solicitors refer to as ‘green leases’.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what these are and how you can negotiate a green lease with your landlord.
What is a Green Lease?
For rented/leased properties, this term refers to a lease or rental agreement which includes a number of environmental obligations for both the tenant and the landlord. It is created to actively make a property more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
This may involve the installation of devices and/or adjustments being made to the building to achieve increased sustainability. It will also require activities and behaviours on the part of both landlord and tenant.
Devices and Adjustments in a Green Lease
- Installing of Smart meters
- Installing of water saving features
- Updating of appliances
- Updating of windows, for example, installing double glazing to make the property more energy efficient
Behaviours in a Green Lease
- Proactive recycling
- Choosing more eco-active suppliers
- Being mindful of energy use
- Using recycled / sustainable materials for updates
How to Negotiate a Green Lease with Your Landlord
With rising costs and falling house prices, UK landlords are under a great deal of pressure in 2023. Some may be therefore reluctant to make any changes which require further outgoings. In this section, we’re looking at a few ways in which you may be able to negotiate a green lease with your landlord:
Get other tenants on board
Getting other tenants onboard can significantly help your chances of persuading your landlord to switch to a green lease. Speak to other tenants in your building and explain the benefits of a green lease with a view to adding their names to your cause.
Your landlord may be less inclined to refuse if several tenants are making the request for fear that the tenants may, collectively, seek alternative accommodation.
Present the benefits
When approaching your landlord about switching to a green lease, you’ll stand a better chance of success if you start by explaining the benefits to the landlord and their business, which can include:
- Long term money savings on energy bills.
- An improved energy certificate rating which, in turn, may increase the value of the property.
- Making the property more attractive to green-minded new tenants.
- Saving money on insurance due to agreements on specific activities within the green lease.
- Financial incentives – by adding eco-features, your landlord may be eligible for a green home grant which can be a considerable financial boost.
When considering a green lease, your landlord may have a few concerns, including the fact that they will have to go to the trouble and expense of removing or replacing devices and features at the end of the tenancy. In this instance, it may be that you will need to come to an agreement with your landlord about this in terms of contributing to the cost or work.
However, it is worth mentioning to your landlord that, as the government works toward the 2030 eco-goals, there is a good chance that the installation of such devices and features may actually be required by law in the not so distant future.
What to do if Your Landlord Refuses a Green Lease
However compelling your arguments, there is of course a chance that your landlord will simply not be interested in a green lease and will refuse your request. So, what do you do next?
First of all, don’t be tempted to go ahead and install the features anyway. However disappointing your landlord’s decision may be, this may be a breach of your tenancy agreement and could result in your eviction.
Instead, request that this decision be reviewed in the future, and propose a date, for example, in six months’ time. If your landlord is not willing to commit to a review of the decision it may, unfortunately, be time to start looking around for an alternative property with a more flexible landlord.
Working Toward a Greener Future
In 2023, the environment is big news and new legislation is coming thick and fast as the government scrambles to meet goals set out by the United Nations. This means that we all have to adapt to new ways of living in order to do our bit for the planet.
While we can all help by recycling and by turning the thermostat down, a green lease is a great way of both tenant and landlord proactively demonstrating a commitment to protecting the planet’s resources. Therefore, many landlords will keep an open mind on the subject.
Using some of the negotiation tactics in this article may just help you to tip the balance and to embark on a new greener way of living both now and in the future.