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How to keep your tenants warm this winter

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A new law to be introduced in 2018 will force landlords to ensure their properties have an energy efficiency rating of at least Band E.  

fireplaceThe Energy Act will cover new residential property leases from April 2018 and be extended to existing contracts in 2020.

And from April next year landlords will not be able to refuse a tenant’s request to make the property they live in easier and cheaper to keep warm.

These new rulings are likely to affect up to 1 million privately rented properties in the UK, but they could deliver benefits to landlords as well.

Making a rental property more energy efficient makes sound commercial sense. Not only will it be more desirable to tenants and reduce the risk of void periods, cutting a tenant’s energy bill reduces the chance of them not paying the rent.

And properties that are warm are less likely to develop faults such as damp, condensation and mould, which can cost a landlord both time and money.

But the new legislation will not be in force this winter. And with outside temperatures dipping and likely to fall far lower before spring next makes an appearance, now is the time tenants should start seeking ways to reduce their heating bills. Here’s some handy advice…

10 ways tenants can reduce their winter fuel bills

1. Draw the curtains as soon as it starts to get dark to stop heat escaping through the windows.

2. Fit draught excluders around interior doors and windows.

3. Don’t cover radiators with curtains or washing.

4. Don’t overheat your home. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree could save up to £65 a year. Keeping your heating on a constantly low heat could potentially save more money than switching it on and off for big blasts of warmth. This is where getting to know and understand the timer settings on your thermostat will really pay off.

5. Only heat areas of the house you use. If your home has individual radiator controls, turn off the heating in the spare bedroom and keep radiators running at a lower temperature in hallways and landings.

6. Placing an insulating jacket over your hot water tank can save up to £15 a year.

7. Don’t leave your appliances on standby as they still use electricity. You can save up to £37 a year by turning appliances off properly.

8. Only boil the water you need rather than filling the kettle to the top.

9. Fit all the lights in your home with energy-saving lightbulbs. While these do cost more, they could save up to £50 a year.

10. Try to only use a washing machine or dishwasher when it has a full load. Washing at 30C rather than 40C can save a third of the cost to run the cycle, while setting a dishwasher to economy mode will use less water and electricity.

Assetgrove is committed to helping landlords comply with the Energy Act. Our rent guarantee scheme not only offers landlords up to five years’ guaranteed rent, we will manage every single aspect of the tenancy during this period – with no monthly fees, commissions or hidden surprises to pay for.

Assetgrove’s maintenance packages free up your cash flow, allowing essential works to be done to your property with no upfront fees. We will fix, decorate or refurbish your property – at an agreed fee – and you can spread the cost with easy manageable repayments.

For more information about our guaranteed rent scheme, contact Assetgrove now.

Image credit: JamesDeMers

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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