Best Thermostats for Rental Property

It can be a daunting task to manage the utilities available in your property. And when these are rental properties, you’ll have to ensure that the tenants follow the lease agreement to the letter where possible. This will include things like maintaining general cleanliness around the home, paying rent on schedule, as well as keeping the temperature to a minimum within reason.

As for times the properties are empty, you have to be sure that the property is adequately cooled and heated to prevent damages to the unit.

An assured way of ensuring that the temperature is kept at a particular level even when you’re not around is to get a landlord controlled thermostat. With this, you’ll be able to remotely access and pre-program the thermostat.

Granted, there are rules, imitations and etiquette that you’ll have to factor in when installing a tenant thermostat that you will have access to. However, selecting the most appropriate thermostat will make things easier for you.

We’ll now take a look at some of the thermostats that are suitable for rental properties as well as things to consider when purchasing any of them.


  1. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat (RTH6580WF)

This thermostat is quite budget-friendly, with the app coming a long way since its introduction some years back. It also comes with all the basic features that you’d normally expect from a thermostat. There will be no need to panic if the power goes out because this thermostat will remember the previous settings.

The same thing will happen if your Wi-Fi goes out.

Honeywell Wi-Fi 7-Day Thermostat, White, One Size
  • 7 day programming with 4 program periods per day can be configured to meet almost any scheduling scenario for ultimate...
  • Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows for remote access via smart-phone or computer, Free smart-phone app for iPhone, iPad and...

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The only set of persons that will be disappointed with this thermostat are those who would’ve wanted a flashier design like a Nest. As for those who just require a smart thermostat that can be set up and left alone, then the RTH6580WF is absolutely suitable.

The control buttons on the thermostat are clunky – just like the ones on the old school thermostats, but the Android/iOS app is quite great and its desktop portal is also good. This app is referred to as “Total Comfort Connect” and is available on your device’s app store for free.

With this app, you’ll be able to remotely control the temperature, receive alerts, override the existing schedule and create new ones. If you have different locations for the unit, a list will be made for you – accompanied by daily weather reports.

The on-unit display indicates the current Wi-Fi status and temperature. By pressing the buttons, you can override the settings by adjusting the temperature, setting the day/clock/schedule, selecting the fan settings and tweaking other settings. If you’ve made use of a programmable thermostat before, then you will know exactly what to expect.

This particular thermostat has a built-in schedule that will get things started. You can discard this schedule and create your own. You can also tweak the built-in schedule for it to suit your needs. The settings on this default schedule are quite great, so if you aren’t sure about what you want, you can decide to use this one and see if you like it or not.


  1. Nest T3017US Learning Thermostat

This 3rd generation Nest thermostat offers a range of new features. With the older Nest thermostats relying solely on near-field sensors to pinpoint motion activity, this particular thermostat uses an innovative function called Farsight (with a far-field sensor).

Nest Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control...
  • Save energy with Nest: Nest introduces the 3rd generation Nest learning thermostat. With four beautiful colours to...
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This Farsight function will be able to recognize your presence from a long way out than the previous models. From as far as 20 feet, it will also allow you to see the target temperature or current time in digital or analogue modes. This ensures that you don’t need to go extra close to view the temperature and time. This information is also readable thanks to the larger display and improved resolution of the thermostat.

Users will be able to place a maximum of six Nest sensors in their homes with each of them being powered by a CR123 battery with two-year durability. Installing this thermostat will only take a few minutes. All you have to do is remove the battery tab, input the code and wait for a connection to be established before assigning them to different rooms in the house.

After this, you can then designate a sensor to become the main temperature reading coming out of the app. Custom schedules can also be created for different times of the day from a section (“manage sensors”) on the app.

The thermostat also has Home/Away Assist and Family Accounts. These are fresh features that will help to improve the overall performance of the thermostat. Family Accounts will allow users in the same house to set up different Nest accounts, as opposed to the shared family accounts of before.

Once these accounts have been created, the Home/Away feature will then begin the task of tracking the phone location of each person who has an account. Even if this isn’t exactly geofencing, it still makes things easier for the thermostat to keep tabs on the whereabouts of its users.


  1. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat

This thermostat was designed by Honeywell as a direct response to the Nest Learning Thermostat designed by Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell. In 2012, Honeywell even filed a lawsuit against Nest where they claimed that in the making of their thermostat, the company violated several existing patents of Honeywell’s.

Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable...
  • COMFORT COMES IN YOUR COLOR. Personalize your Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat to fit your décor.
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With all of this drama aside, both of these thermostats are still extremely capable models with top-of-the-line functions. The Honeywell comes with a sleek design. The thermostat’s home screen shows the humidity, outdoor and indoor temperatures, the time and date, up and down arrows to help the user manually navigate through the temperature settings, etc.

Installing this thermostat will not be quite easy and if you’re a beginner, you should seek help. You will also require a C-wire to set up and power this thermostat. There are actually alternatives if you don’t have this C wire. However, these alternatives aren’t guaranteed to be compatible with every system. This should be considered so that you don’t have problems in the long run.

This thermostat works like all the regular digital thermostats, meaning you will not have to learn extensively before you’re able to operate it. It is also remotely accessible through web-based, iOS and Android mobile apps.

The app is also really user-friendly and intuitive. In the event that you don’t set up a schedule, this thermostat will make use of algorithms to understand your habits and subsequently adjust your cooling and heating settings based on your usage habits. This can be overridden by adjusting the temperature manually.

The reason this particular thermostat is suitable for rental properties is that you will be able to lock the touch screen. This will be very helpful in ensuring that the thermostat settings already set aren’t tampered with.


  1. GLAS Smart Thermostat

This is one of the first appliances with the Cortana voice assistant built into it. Just like the Ecobee 4, this thermostat will let you blurt out commands from across a room in a bid to change the temperature, manage other smart gadgets or request information like news or the weather.

This thermostat supports control through Google Assistant and Alexa as well, but for these, you will have to make use of Google Home or an Echo device to be able to control the thermostat.

Johnson Controls GLAS Smart Thermostat by,...
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  • Outdoor air quality reporting including allergens, air quality index and UV index. Compatability GLAS can control the...

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Installation of the GLAS is pretty similar to that of other smart thermostats. If you own a simple cooling and heating system, the installation will not be difficult. All you have to do is mount the GLAS and plug in the wires. During setup, an auto-scan will be completed by the system to determine the kind of system you have. You’ll be able to correct any errors.

However, it will require work to mount the thermostat – more than most other models. This is due to the fact that the wires are connected under the unit and not in the middle. You’ll definitely have to do some drywall patching to cover the holes from the installation of previous thermostats.

The defining feature of this thermostat is its translucent OLED touchscreen. Even though its resolution is lower than a smartphone’s, it remains clear and simple to read. The thermostat comes with internal sensors that will automatically determine if you’re away or at home. However, if it has an idea of the settings you prefer, it will help to create a balance between comfort and energy saving.

As soon as you’re done configuring the GLAS, you should download the app and make an account. Also, create a Microsoft account so that you can make use of the Cortana speaker. The app is straightforward to use and adjusting settings on it is also easy.


  1. Ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat, 2nd Gen

This particular model replaces the regular Ecobee3 model and is actually just a step down from the Ecobee4 which has some features that the Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t have. Physical and touchscreen wise, both models actually look identical. They also make use of the same app.

Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat, Wi-Fi, Works with Amazon...
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The thermostat needs C-wire to power it up. For people that don’t already have one installed, you can make use of the included Power Extender Kit, although it is a bit difficult to navigate. You really won’t need the services of a professional as anybody who is reasonably comfortable with tools should be able to install it.

Due to the fact that this is a device you can get while on a budget, the thermostat doesn’t have the terminals that are needed to use advanced HVAC components like ventilators, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. Also, it doesn’t have the room sensors which actually makes Ecobee’s other models very popular among users.

However, it is actually compatible with the sensors and Ecobee has a package deal that will include two-room sensors with the Lite thermostat.

The Ecobee Lite without the room sensors remains a superb thermostat with a terrific app and an impressive user interface. The mere fact that it doesn’t have some of the features that other Ecobee products have doesn’t reduce the high regard we have for the thermostat and it certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t recommend you get one.

The attractive and crisp touchscreen is a very likeable feature of the thermostat.


Things to Consider When Buying A Smart Thermostat for Rental Properties

The following are some of the points to consider when purchasing a thermostat meant for a rental property:

  1. Installation Process

This counts as one of the key things you need to consider when getting any smart thermostat.

A step-by-step guide to the installation process that is easy to understand should be provided by the manufacturer. This guide should be able to take you through the entirety of the installation process with minimum fuss.

The wires of the thermostat should be colour coded and should also show exactly where they need to go. This will help to reduce the difficulty that would’ve arisen without it.

  1. Requires a C-Wire 

Smart thermostats usually need more power than what the regular batteries provide. A dedicated C-wire ensures that the thermostat works efficiently. When removing an old thermostat to install a smart one, ensure that you check if a C-wire is already connected to it. If there isn’t one, it is advisable that you install one.

  1. Remote Access

This will ensure that you maintain control over the thermostat no matter where you are. You will have the power to adjust the cooling and heating temperature from anywhere – as long as you have an internet connection.

  1. Sensors

Motion and proximity sensors will help to ascertain if a house is occupied or if it requires climate control. A handful of smart thermostats also use door and window sensors alongside motion sensors to improve the performance of the thermostat.

This proximity sensors will trigger the display on the thermostat whenever you walk past. This actually makes the screen a good feature.

  1. System Complexity

The model you end up selecting has to support multi-stage heating systems, ventilation and air-conditioning. You will require a thermostat for each zone if the house is divided into cooling and heating zones. These multiple zones can be controlled by one app.