Property owners know that getting future residents in their door is already a tough sell. But what about retention? Once the lease is signed, keeping residents for the long term is a much more daunting challenge. But there is a unique way that more studies are determining can keep residents living in one space for the long-term, and you might be surprised by the result.

Green roofs (as well as other types of private access green spaces) on the property are becoming an amenity that an increasing amount of renters are willing to stay for.

Shared Outdoor Spaces Keep Tenants Happy

Many people who rent will sacrifice space in order to save money, and providing them an outdoor green space gives them additional square footage to stretch their legs. Community gardens and green roofs can help them connect with other residents and feel a strong sense of community, similar to the way a neighborhood cookout would in the suburbs (1).

Many developers are working with property managers to move more community spaces to the roof to take advantage of a previously unusable space. Property owners are finding that people will pay from 3-12% more for the attractive skyline views and the lush vegetation of a community green roof space (2,3). Additionally property value increases for the owners up to 11% premium for a recreational green roof and even neighbors property values increase by 4.5% if they have a view onto a nearby green roof(4).

Keep Tenants Healthy with Access to Nature

It shouldn’t be a surprise that healthy tenants are happy tenants. And while a property owner can’t manage their residents level of diet or exercise, they can provide access to greenery and nature. Having access to natural vegetation can reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses linked with city living such as diabetes, mental illness, and obesity (5).

Green roofs are a form of Biophilic Design, which incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, and nature views into the built environment (6). Biophilic design has been shown to not only improve people’s physical condition, but their mental state as well. Biophilic Design has be proven to increase productivity, creativity, clarity of thought, and reduce stress (7). A report by Terrapin states that companies who provide views to nature in their office spaces can save around $2,000 per employee annually and deter crime (8).

Adding a green roof is a great way to add easy access to nature for your current and future tenants. By investing in a green roof you can give residents a private park or garden while using space that is traditionally underutilized to save money on energy costs and stormwater retention. It is a perfect win-win for property owners to implement, and your residents will thank you by sticking around for the long haul.


  4. Tomalty, R., Komorowski, B. and DOIRON, D., (2009) Monetary Value of the Soft Benefits of Green Roofs. Prepared for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). [Online] April 2009.