Landlords need to be aware of the energy efficiency of their rental properties

Landlords need to be aware of the energy efficiency of their rental properties

UK PRS landlords are being urged to check the energy efficiency of their rental properties that they want to let out before tenants commit to rent them, as it could save their tenants a substantial amount of money in the long term.

Landlords have stated that their tenants are becoming increasingly concerned with the extortionate cost of utility charges and many tenants have even used the information displayed on EPC’s to make the decision to go ahead with the let of more energy efficient rental properties.

Since October 2008, all properties put onto the market for sale or to-let, require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which is valid for 10 years.

Tenants are doing everything they can to save as much of their precious finances as they can, choosing landlords that offer incentives such as rent guarantee insurance and using the energy efficiency rating of available rental properties displayed on the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) when the property is advertised for rent, to make informed choices before they sign any tenancy agreement.

This is fast becoming a problem for landlords with poor energy rated properties, which is why the UK Government have decided to do something about it, with the introduction of the Green Deal.

The information displayed on the front cover of an EPC provides the overall energy rating of the rental property and wise tenants are choosing rental properties that are rated as the most energy efficient in order to save cash.

Aside from the cost of the monthly rent, gas, electricity and water can account for up to 20% of a tenant’s average monthly outgoings, so insulation and energy efficient heating is fast becoming a deciding factor for many would be tenants.

Under the 2013 Green Deal proposed by the UK Government to help home owners and landlords to make residential properties more energy efficient without the need for any upfront payments being made. Landlords and tenants can apply for any or all of the energy saving improvements being offered, however it should be noted that the cost of the improvements WILL BE RECOVERED from utility bills.

The amount you repay for Green Deal improvements is based on what a typical household is expected to save on energy bills by having the work done.

The cost will be shown on your Green Deal Plan (the contract between you and the provider), and will include the interest rate.

Most improvements should reduce your heating bill because you’ll be using less electricity, gas or oil – but the actual savings depend on your energy use and the future cost of energy.

The energy saving improvements that can be carried out on residential properties include:

  • Insulation – eg loft or cavity wall insulation
  • Heating
  • Draught-proofing
  • Double glazing
  • Renewable energy technologies – eg solar panels or wind turbines

If you’re a tenant, you must get your landlord’s permission before you sign up, and if you’re a landlord you must get your tenant’s permission to sign up, this also applies to homeowners and tenants in social housing.

Read more about the Green Deal here: https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures

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