The financial incentives for landlords to get solar panels on their rental properties have recently been enhanced, making solar an attractive proposition for both landlords and tenants.
Up to $3,700 in financial incentives are now available for each rental property through the State Government’s Solar Homes program. This comprises of a rebate of up to $1,850 and an interest-free loan of up to the same amount.
Cutting the cost of solar
“This can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of a 3.3kW solar system to just a few hundred dollars,” said Jo Kaptein, organiser of local solar bulk-buy MASH. “For tenants, this size system can save hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs.”
Government interest-free loan
Landlords can apply for the rebate and interest-free loan on up to two rental properties in each financial year. There are two options for loan repayments:
- The landlord can make the full monthly loan repayment of $38.54 (over 4 years) or
- The landlord and renter can agree to split the loan repayments where the renter contributes up to 50 per cent of the monthly repayment.
The eligibility criteria for the landlord to receive the rebate include:
- the rental property must be valued at under $3m
- no solar currently installed
- renters’ combined annual household income of under $180,000.
A win/win for landlords and tenants
“A big reason for landlords to ‘go solar’ is to have happy and comfortable tenants,” said Michael Cantwell of Cantwell Property Castlemaine. “Tenants will save hundreds of dollars each year off their energy bills. This means they will be more likely to stay in the property if they can heat and cool their home at an affordable price. Ultimately, this results in lower vacancy rates and a better return for the landlord. It’s a win/win for the landlord and the tenant,” said Michael.
Good interest from landlords
“Getting solar on rental properties has traditionally been hard as the incentives for landlords haven’t been that great”, said Jo Kaptein. “But now, with this rebate and loan, it will be financially attractive for many landlords to get panels installed, particularly if they take into account the associated benefits of having happier tenants. We are already getting a number of enquiries from landlords. Fortunately there’s a good supply of the rental rebates at the moment and a straightforward application process.”