Details for Property Managers

How does SunTenants enhance my rental roll?

Your rental roll will be enhanced with higher value properties with higher rents.

Solar power is a recognised Liveability Feature and SunTenants strengthens the connection of Owners and Tenants to the property, this makes for happier, potentially longer term tenants.

 

What properties make good sun powered rentals?

SunTenants works well with both residential and commercial rental properties.

The solar savings of tenants are greatest when they use lots of power during daylight hours, so businesses are often particularly well suited to solar.

Live data on the solar savings of a residential and commercial properties are shown on our case studies page.

Properties must meet four criteria to become a SunTenants sun powered rental:

  1. Have a sunny roof. While modern technology allows solar systems to work effectively on roofs that experience partial shading, if your roof is in the shade throughout most of the day then installing solar won’t be worthwhile.
  2. Have a solid roof. Before installing solar it’s important that your roof is in good condition, as the solar panels will ideally remain in place for 25 years.
  3. Be a rental. SunTenants is focused on serving rental properties. If you’re an owner-occupier you don’t require SunTenants’ services, however we can still get you a solar quote from one of our trusted solar installers - please use this dedicated form.
  4. Have a single owner, or have all owners in agreement. Installing solar is easiest on single occupancy properties, such as free standing houses, terraces, or warehouses. SunTenants also works with multi-unit properties (up to ~20 units) provided that all property owners have agreed to getting solar. While we don't have the resources to engage with uncommitted strata committees, we have contributed to this comprehensive information pack.

 

When can solar be installed?

We can install solar at any point, as soon as the property owner and tenant agree to capitalise on their solar potential.

We’ve developed an innovative process that allows the rent will be increased by mutual agreement of the owner and the tenant, at any point during a lease (or between tenancies).

 

Does solar increase the property's value?

Yes, the solar system will appeal to both future owner-occupiers and investors as a Liveability Feature that saves occupiers money and delivers additional cash flow to investors.

85% of Australians identify solar rooftop panels as something which adds to a property’s value, according to research from realestate.com.au and Origin Energy. Solar was the primary feature that respondents associated with green living, and three quarters of renters said they would pay additional rent to live in a property with solar energy.

86% of Australians place solar energy in their top three choices of energy for Australia according to the 2016 Climate of the Nation report and over 1.8 million Australian properties already have solar systems.

 

How do update an existing tenant's lease?

Once the owner and tenant have agreed to capitalise on their shared solar potential, SunTenants will arrange for the solar system to be installed and for the rental lease to be updated to the agreed to rent.

To update the lease the owner and tenant must agree to first surrender the existing lease and to then enter into a new lease on precisely the same terms (including the same end date) but with the rent increased by the agreed to amount. The new lease also contains a set of Additional Terms that relate to SunTenants’ handling of the data we collect from our smart meter - these terms can be downloaded here.

We understand the paramount importance of housing security, and that the prospect of surrendering a lease may be daunting. We have therefore worked with a leading international law firm to develop a bridging contract that ensures that the existing lease is surrendered simultaneously to the new lease being entered into, and that this only occurs upon the new lease having the same terms and conditions as the existing lease, except for the change in rent and additional SunTenants data privacy clause. The bridging contract can be downloaded here.

SunTenants will coordinate the lease update process with the property manager, or with the owners if there is no third party management.

The process is made up of five simple steps:

  1. SunTenants receives written consent from the owner to execute with the lease update, and forwards this consent to the property manager.
  2. The property manager downloads the bridging contract (available here) and fills in the property and tenant specific details.
  3. The property manager prepares a new lease that is identical to the existing lease, but with the rent increased by the agreed to amount and with a new page of Additional Terms (available here).
  4. The property manager arranges for the tenant to sign the bridging contract and the new lease.
  5. The property manager notifies the owner and SunTenants that the update is complete by send them an email (that does not need to contain the signed forms).

This process is only required when the solar system is installed during an existing lease. Future tenants have no additional paperwork to complete and should be onboarded using standard procedures. We do however hope that all tenants are reminded of the value of the solar system and are directed to the SunTenants website to check out the live data on their property.

 

How do I onboard new tenants into sun powered rentals?

We've designed SunTenants so there's no additional contracts, so please use your standard procedures.

Please remember to include the page of Additional Terms in the lease (available here) and remind tenants to check the value of their property's solar system on the SunTenants website.

 

How do I best advertise sun powered rentals?

We suggest that adverts for SunTenants sun powered rentals include the following, "This property has a solar system that on average has saved tenants $xx per week. To view the live solar savings visit www.suntenants.com". Where the property specific savings, $xx, are found by searching our sun powered rental database.

 

How do I best convince the property's owners?

We recommend you use our solar value calculator to get a proposal specifically for your property, and then forward a copy of this email (once you've used our form to receive a copy yourself) to your tenant.

 

How do I best convince the property's tenants?

We recommend you use our solar value calculator to get a proposal specifically for your property, and then forward a copy of this email (once you've used our form to receive a copy yourself) to your property's owner.

 

Who does the installation and what do they install?

We work with a select group of trusted solar installers who meet our standards for service, workmanship and warranties. They are listed here.

We work with a select group of trusted solar installers who meet our standards for service, workmanship and warranties. They are listed here. Our trusted installers work exclusive with top quality ("Tier 1") components that come with warranties that meet our standards. The installers will prepare a quote with their recommended components, but you are entirely free to modify this if you have specific requests.

 

Who takes care of maintenance?

Our system constantly monitors your solar system's performance. If there are any issues we will inform you or your property manager and recommend a local service provider to fix the problem. The company that installed the system may well be obliged to do so free of charge under the terms of their warranty (circumstance dependent).

In general, solar system's run for many years without needing any maintenance.

 

What if the solar generation is lower than expected?

SunTenants monitors the performance of all our sun powered rentals. If we detect that a solar system is not meeting its energy generation forecast, we follow a three step process to address this problem:

  1. We notify the company that installed the solar system as well as the owner of the property.
  2. We work with the solar installer to troubleshoot the situation remotely.
  3. If needs be, the installer will visits the property to carry out maintenance.

All of our trusted installers provide at least 5 year workmanship warranties and all components have warranties that meet or exceed industry standards (typically 5 or 10 years). Where maintenance is not covered by warranties owners need to pay, and the installer will contact them directly to discuss this before going to site.

Many of our trusted installers also provide solar generation guarantees, where they will reimburse owners if the system does not produce the quoted amount of energy.

Systemic under-performance may justify a renegotiation of the rent. To date we have not experienced such a circumstance.