We received a communication from a user of ToolsForTenants.com – a testimonial for the site and a terrific example of one person do all they can to help conserve energy. Thank you Andrew!
Dear Tools for Tenants,
I am writing to thank you for your efforts to improve transparency in the rental marketplace. As a renter for the past 9 years, I have often been frustrated by the lack of effective energy efficiency policies and programs targeted at the rental marketplace.
For example, homeowners are afforded tax-breaks or subsidized discounts related to energy improvements; these subsidies are not generally made available to investors of rental properties. While energy improvements can increase the resale value of a property, investors do not enjoy the direct benefit (cash flow) of reduced utility costs. Given these circumstances, it is perfectly understandable why rental-investors, in general, are not motivated to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. This condition seems to apply across the board, affecting residential and commercial tenants throughout Gainesville.
Your website improves this situation by allowing tenants to make better decisions concerning the expected costs associated with a property offered for lease. I believe this information will help to amplify and explain differences in rent prices (actually paid) on a going-forward basis. In the past, I had to call GRU by telephone to get utility consumption information for any particular place that I was considering renting. That process was time-consuming and did not afford me the ‘luxury” of sampling multiple properties or time periods; for most people, operating cost simply wasn’t a part of their decision-making process. However, as your website has drastically reduced the cost of getting this information, it is now much more feasible to both consider operating cost and to justify, either up or down, an adjustment to the prices of comparable properties.
When renters start using this information in earnest, I believe we’ll be one step closer to a better, cleaner, more efficient use of natural resources. As a rental-consumer, this information directly benefit me by allowing me to formulate an offer based on facts, and thereby, to vote with my dollars. Those investors who continue to neglect energy efficiency will suffer decreased/stagnant rents, thus putting the burden of investment back together with the potential gains to be accrued from pricing power.
What you’re doing is important to this community, fiscally and environmentally. I am so thankful for your efforts–and even more so for the results!