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5 tips for a more energy efficient rental property

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If you’re wondering how to make your home more energy efficient, we have a few ideas to help you get started.

Energy Efficiency Performance

From Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion to David Attenborough, environmental activists have got us all thinking about climate change and the need to tread more lightly on the planet.

Here in the UK, buildings (including domestic properties) produce an estimated half of carbon emissions and double the amount caused by cars and planes. The government has a target of getting the UK to net zero emissions by 2050 and has already passed legislation aimed at boosting energy efficiency in rental homes.

On 1 April 2018, new minimum standards for private rented property came into force. The changes meant that a landlord could no longer grant a new tenancy for a property whose Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating was less than a band E (For domestic properties, the EPC ratings range from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient).

By April 2020 the same rules will apply to all existing tenancies for domestic properties. It is also worth noting that the government’s aspiration is to make sure all privately rented properties reach an EPC rating of C by 2030.

Existing landlords, with properties rated as F or G, will need to act fast to ensure they comply with the law in time for the April 2020 deadline. As a landlord it is your responsibility to take action and upgrade your property in time for the change.

Making your rental property more energy efficient isn’t just about complying with government rules. It will bring real benefits for you and your tenants. For a start, it will mean lower energy bills for your tenants. The property will feel warmer and cosier too, and less likely to be affected by damp, meaning your tenants will be happier in their home and likely to stay put for longer. A good EPC rating is also useful, should you decide to sell the place in the future.

Here are our five top tips on achieving an energy efficient rental home.

 

Tip 1: Replace an old boiler

If your boiler is old, inefficient by today’s standards, and starting to cause problems, replace it with a modern model that will boost your property’s EPC rating. It will involve a big outlay, but will definitely be worth it in the long run.

 

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).

 

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 – not what you want, especially in winter! If there are gaps or openings 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. Your tenants will also be happy as LEDs, usually have a much longer lifespan.

 

Tip 5: Install smart meters and thermostats

Thermostatic controls on central heating and radiators will help your tenants conserve energy by only using the heat they need. Ask your energy company to install a smart meter too – it will allow your tenants to see how much energy they are using, and what it costs – a big incentive to be more energy efficient.

 

If you’d like advice about your legal requirements when it comes to energy performance, or any other aspect of renting out property, we can help. Please do get in touch today.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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