With an increasing focus on climate change and a generation of tenants who are becoming more 'green' aware, maximising the energy efficiency of your rental property can prove beneficial.
Ben Davies, owner of Belvoir Swansea and Belvoir Mumbles, had this to say: “When tenants are committing themselves to a property it's important for them to know that they can afford the rent and the estimated running costs and that they have a full picture of what they will be spending on a monthly and annual basis.
An energy efficient property has multiple advantages for a tenant who is living there, including potentially lower bills and warmer living accommodation.
With utility costs are on the rise, tenants are taking more notice of the energy performance of a property than ever before and being able to demonstrate energy efficiency when a property is advertised may make it more attractive to tenants and increase the chances of a speedy let.”
Not only will maximising the energy efficiency of your rental property benefit you and your tenant but very soon a minimum standard is also going to be necessary by law…
Owner of Belvoir Birmingham Central Major Mahil explains. “In order to help cut carbon emissions and energy bills the Department for Energy and Climate Change have announced that all new lets and renewals from April 2018 will need to demonstrate a minimum performance rating of E on an EPC,” he says. “By April 2020 all existing tenancies will need to comply too.”
So, how can we make a rental property more energy efficient?
“In the first instance it's important to look at the basics,” advises Ben. “How efficient is the heating system for example? And, how well insulated is the property?”
Think about the lighting too. Are there any ways that this could be made more energy efficient? Are there any outside lights that would benefit from sensors or timers?
“There are many other things that can be considered when thinking about the energy efficiency of your rental property,” adds Major. “These could include double-glazing, draft-proofing of doors and windows, insulation of hot water cylinders if applicable, boiler thermostats and controls, plus perhaps a water butt to collect rain water. Additionally, the installation of Smart Meters can help tenants keep track of energy used.”
Need assistance in understanding what the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards will mean to you, or in the general navigation of the lettings legislation maze?
Ben comments: “The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) is just one of the latest legislation additions across the lettings sector and there are more legislation changes and updates expected in 2018 and beyond.
Because of this, self-management is becoming increasingly complicated for private landlords and the expertise and support of a property management agent can be invaluable.
A good agent can assist by keeping you in the loop about changes as they happen in order to help ensure that your rental property is compliant and operating within the law."