5 tips for a more energy efficient rental property
The government’s push towards improving energy efficiency in the buy-to-let sector is continuing. Since April 2018, a minimum Band E standard applies to all privately rented properties where landlords are arranging new or renewal tenancies. The minimum Band E standard will then apply to all existing tenancies from April 2020.
A high energy efficiency rating is just as important for landlords (property owners) as it is for tenants. Tenants should never be in a position where they are at risk of fuel poverty; they should be able to live in a heated, comfortable environment and not be subject to ill-health because their home is too cold.
Meanwhile, landlords will attract more tenants if their properties are energy efficient. A more than adequate EPC rating is a real selling point to prospective tenants, while a well-insulated, properly-ventilated property will encourage tenants to remain longer at the property, thereby reducing void periods and providing the landlord with a regular, secure income. The more energy efficient a property, the lower the energy bills for tenants – which is an attraction itself.
Britain is slowing becoming a nation of renters, and yet the private rented sector still scores poorly when it comes to energy efficiency. Our advice to landlords? Make sure your rental property (or properties) is as energy efficiency as possible. Here’s some tips on how to do it….
Tip 1: Replace the time-worn boiler
An efficient boiler is the first starting point. If your boiler is old, inefficient by today’s standards, and starting to cause you (and the tenant) problems, then dispense with it and replace it with an efficient model that will boost your property’s energy efficiency rating. Though it can be a large expense, it will be worth it.
Tip 2: Install double-glazing
A lot of heat is lost through doors and windows. Good quality double-glazing reduces heat loss and makes the property cheaper and easier to keep warm (as well as reducing noise pollution). This is a no-brainer, but double-glazing is the way forward when it comes to energy efficiency.
Tip 3: Draught-proof the doors
This is an affordable way of making a property more energy efficient. Poorly-sealed doors and windows let in cold air and allow warm air to escape, and this isn’t what you want, especially in winter. If there are unwanted gaps or openings in the property, such as between floorboards, around doors and windows, an open chimney or a loft hatch, make sure they are covered.
Tip 4: Embrace LED technology
LED light bulbs are very energy efficient, so making sure all the light bulbs in the property are LEDs is a good move. By switching to LED light bulbs, you’ll be able to reduce the energy consumption of the property without compromising on light quality. Tenants will be happy to use LEDs, and they usually require less maintenance due to their long lifespan.
Tip 5: Install smart meters and thermostats
Landlords can install smart meters and thermostats which will allow them to see the impact of reducing energy via the energy monitor. A smart meter will allow you to see energy usage, making it easier to understand how energy is used.
There are many ways to boost the energy efficiency of your rental property in addition to those listed above. For more information on the new regulations, or for advice on letting out your property, get in touch.