Putting the Tree in Treehaus
Here at Treehaus, we're on a mission to revolutionise the rental sector in more ways than one.
For far too long, tenants have had no voice, and have had to take landlords at face value, all the while having their own references and credentials checked and dissected, before having to hand over more than a third of their income each month.
To combat this issue, we've launched the first national rental database and landlord review platform. After months of research, this database now covers 80-90 percent of private and social rented properties, and is designed to encourage transparency in the sector.
We need as many tenant reviews as possible for this campaign to work. The more positive and negative reviews we get, the easier it will be for tenants to find good landlords, and the closer we will be to transforming the rental sector into one that’s fair and inclusive for all.
So, back to putting the tree in Treehaus…
As you might expect, we're carbon-neutral tree-huggers. So while we're fighting the good fight when it comes to improving industry conditions for tenants, we also want to play a part in combating the climate change crisis by addressing the carbon neutrality of rental properties.
Strong, healthy trees absorb carbon, thus offsetting carbon emissions caused by deforestation and fossil fuel combustion and reducing the effects of climate change. Bottom line - the world needs more trees.
While reducing carbon emissions is essential to protecting our environment long-term, we can also create substantial change by taking responsibility for offsetting our carbon footprints.
That's why we're pledging to plant 100,000 trees once we hit 1 million reviews on our new landlord review platform. Our goal is to dramatically improve the rental sector's transparency and fairness, while simultaneously combating environmental issues that have largely been taken out of the hands of well-intentioned tenants.
Landlords still hold all the cards regarding energy efficiency
In the fight for carbon neutrality, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have been a step in the right direction. Still, the bottom line is that they fall shockingly short when it comes to providing much in the way of intelligible information regarding the eco-credentials of a rental property.
This shortfall is particularly frustrating to people in the lettings industry for several reasons; not only are tenants' hands tied when it comes to making any significant improvements to the energy efficiency of their rental property, but worse still, they are footing the bill when landlords fail to address the energy efficiency of their buildings. Like many aspects of the traditional lettings industry model, this seems counterintuitive to an optimal outcome for all.
Improving carbon footprints for all rentals
At Treehaus, our focus is two-fold: the carbon footprint of each property, and what landlords can be doing to offset it.
EPC certificates do serve some purpose, but they aren't relatable enough to elicit more significant change. It's far more relatable to understand the facts; for example, the average UK property emits 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
It may still be hard to fathom what 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide looks like, so let's simplify it further; it takes approximately 250 trees to absorb that much carbon dioxide over the course of a year.
Encouraging carbon footprint offsets
In an ideal world, this much carbon dioxide wouldn't be produced per household in the first place, but with limited scope for tenants to make a difference, offsetting the carbon footprint of each rental is a good place to start.
At Treehaus, our mission is to encourage landlords to take an active approach to offsetting the carbon footprint of their properties. We will also be encouraging tenants to do the same for their lifestyles.
Treehaus itself focuses on practising what we preach. For example, we use carbon-neutral data centres and servers powered by energy from sustainable sources. We also catch public transport to the office, and when venture further afield to locations that don't allow for public transportation, we car share or use electric vehicles.