The Pros and Cons of Using a Landlord Thermostat

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Upgraded technology, like a landlord thermostat, can help a landlord efficiently manage their rental properties. A landlord thermostat may assist in creating a more environmentally friendly unit that can keep up with rising utility costs and the demand for energy efficiency from states and renters. A modern device like this can help a landlord save on utility bills by maintaining control over a unit’s climate. It also gives valuable insight into actual cost savings and other important metrics. 

This guide will be covering what a landlord thermostat is, its features, and three reasons to consider using one. We’ll also give a few reasons as to why it might not be the right choice.

What Is a Landlord Thermostat?

A landlord thermostat is one that the landlord controls and is usually tamper-proof. This means that tenants are unable to make changes to the temperature settings that the landlord has established.

Many landlords decide to install these thermostats so that tenants don’t tamper with the temperature control system. When tenants have free rein over these devices, they might regulate the temperature erratically, which increases bills. When the landlord is the one covering utilities for their units, these costs add up quickly.

One example of a costly action is when a tenant leaves for the weekend and doesn’t make any adjustments to the thermostat. Because of this, the system continues to heat or cool the unit at full force, driving up that month’s bill.     

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What Makes It a Smart Thermostat?

Many modern thermostats are smart thermostats – Wi-Fi-connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart devices (such as a smart thermostat) communicate with other connected devices (like a cellphone) and can be controlled remotely, allowing you to make changes and maintain control from your connected device.

For example, you can control the unit’s temperature from your cellphone when the weather changes, or you simply want to save money during certain times of the day. Smart thermostats are compatible with most HVAC systems and can be installed easily and quickly.

Other key benefits of a smart thermostat include:

Automatic Temperature Adjustments

Smart thermostats can detect room changes and adjust the temperature based on your settings. For example, the device can turn down a heating system if it detects that no one is home. You can also create thresholds so that the temperature never goes above or below the desired temperature.

Energy Savings

One of the most common reasons for installing a smart thermostat is to save on energy costs in your unit(s). You won’t waste as much energy heating and cooling when it’s automatically managed. 

Usage Tracking

Smart thermostats can track energy usage each month. This allows you to alter your settings based on the data you’re collecting. 


You can easily customize smart thermostats for each unit depending on what you want, as well as make updates. 

Attract Renters

Today’s renters look for the latest features and amenities in units, so including a smart thermostat may help you attract and retain renters. It’s estimated that 71% of millennials and 55% of Baby Boomers find homes with smart home technology more desirable.

Raise Rent

When your units are in higher demand because of technology integrations, you can likely increase rent.  An apartment that offers the latest innovations will be more desirable than one with a spotty system that has not been upgraded in decades, for example.

These are just a few of the advantages of smart thermostats. A landlord-controlled smart thermostat might make life easier and more affordable for you. 

Apartment that is a comfortable temperature

3 Reasons to Consider Using a Landlord Thermostat

A landlord thermostat offers landlords various benefits. Here are three reasons to consider installing one. 

1. Maintain Control

Many landlords benefit from taking complete control of unit climate settings. Tenants will adjust the thermostat to extremes if they’re too hot or cold, which can quickly run down the system and mark up utility bills. A landlord thermostat helps you avoid this situation altogether.

2. Save Money on Utilities

If utilities are included in a tenant’s monthly rent and you cover the costs, you’ll save money by keeping control of the thermostat. By choosing energy-efficient settings, you’ll reap economic benefits.

3. Peace of Mind

A great thing about smart thermostats is that you can customize your settings. You do not have to worry about what temperature your renter will set when the weather changes and can depend on the device to take care of it for you.

There are definite benefits of installing a smart landlord thermostat. However, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of. 

Common Pitfalls of Landlord Thermostats

Sometimes taking control of the thermostat can create disputes with your tenant. You may decide that purchasing a new smart device isn’t worth the cost. Here are a few common pitfalls of landlord thermostats:

  • Conflicts may arise between you and your tenants if they’re unhappy with the temperature settings.
  • Smart thermostats are usually more expensive than traditional thermostats.
  • You may not see any cost savings if renters pay their utility bills (though smart thermostats may still contribute to an overall energy-efficient building).
  • You may want to invest in more pressing equipment for the unit as a priority.

Once you understand the pros and cons of landlord thermostats, you can make an educated decision about installing them in your rentals. 

Working with Nomadic Real Estate

If you have questions about your rights as a landlord or best practices for managing your properties, the team at Nomadic Real Estate can help. We provide property management assistance in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region for residential property owners and investors. We also help landlords fill rentals with qualified tenants and help manage rentals units.

Contact Nomadic Real Estate for more information about your Greater D.C. property management needs. 

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