3 ways to persuade your landlord to go tankless

If you're renting your own place, odds are you don't have the final say in the nuts and bolts of how your apartment is put together. In fact, everything from the wallpaper to the kitchen appliances might have been decided on long before you signed your name to the lease, and this naturally limits your options when it comes to interior design.

That doesn't mean you can't ask your landlord or realty company to make a few changes to your unit. Most people want to paint their walls or hang some pictures, but you should really be lobbying your landlord to install a tankless water heater into your unit. While he or she will probably be reluctant at first, try these three tactics to explain why going tankless could save you both money in the long run.

Just because you're a renter doesn't mean tankless water heaters are out of reach.Just because you're a renter doesn't mean tankless water heaters are out of reach.

1. 'It'll make the place more attractive after I leave.'
Just because you don't plan on staying in the same place longer than your lease doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to save as much as possible on utilities. However, this logic probably won't work when persuading your landlord to install a tankless heater in place of a worn-out and inefficient storage model. Instead, explain how it will save him or her money, too.

If your heater is inside your unit, it probably takes up precious space. Going tankless means you can tuck the new suitcase-sized model into a closet, below a sink or anywhere else that's out of sight. If you tell your landlord that you're willing to put up with the construction for as long as it takes to install the new tankless heater and remove the old one, he or she can charge more for rent on the unit when you move out.

You might find your landlord more amenable to this plan than you'd think. New storage water heater requirements that kicked in April 15, 2015 mean that if he or she was planning on replacing the current unit, it will either be lower in volume or larger in size – both of which don't bode well for apartment living where running out of hot water and space are constant concerns.

"It could be the price tag that's keeping your landlord from going tankless."

2. 'We'll split the bill.'
Not every apartment renter plans on moving out after their initial lease is up. In fact, if you love your place and want to stay there for the foreseeable future, it makes even more sense to go tankless so you can reap the long-term benefits of lower utility bills.

This is why it might make financial sense to split the initial cost of a tankless heater with your landlord. If he or she is willing to let you sign a multi-year lease with you, offer to meet halfway on the price of a tankless heater. After all, with lower operating costs and inexpensive upkeep, tankless models seem like an apartment owner's dream. It could just be the price tag that's keeping your landlord from investing in your apartment.

3. "You don't want water damage, do you?"
This one might border on scare tactics, but if it works, it works. With a professionally installed tankless water heater, the risk of serious mechanical and structural collapse is almost nonexistent. However, old, outdated and inefficient storage models become more likely to burst with each passing year. In an apartment where even minor water damage can ruin not only your belongings but everyone in the floors below, it might be worth it to your landlord to go tankless just to be safe.

Persuading reticent landlords to do little things can be tough, but if you're on good terms with each other, broaching the topic of tankless water heaters like this can pay big dividends. 

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