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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Landlords forced to be green

The Coalition government is set to announce plans requiring the upgrade of all homes over the next decade to make them more energy efficient.

Part of the proposals are likely to include measures that will require landlords to have to upgrade where the tenant makes a request to the council that measures are installed.  These measures will  come in from 2015 onwards.

Privately rented homes are generally identified as being the worst insulated because the tenant pays the bills.  As a consequence 670,000 homes more than a fifth of the total 3.2 million in private rented sector are in the worst category of G and F.

I'm all for improvements to energy efficiency.  However, as with all initiatives the rub will come down to who pays.  With owner occupiers there is an obvious incentive to carry our energy saving works because it translates into lower energy costs.  However, will tenants be prepared for lower bills by paying more rent?  The reality is that improvements in energy efficiency very rarely get recognised in capital values.  Therefore, as a landlord if you do get compelled to pay several thousand of pounds for improved energy saving measures then this is a significant cost without any obvious upside.  If the government want to get private landlords onside for this worthy initiative they will have to provide some kind of incentives wether this be cheap loans or grants.  Otherwise, it would represent a tax on landlords producing benefits for tenants and the environment and leaving us out of pocket.

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Unknown said...

In Northern Ireland, tenants can avail of the Warm Homes Scheme - if they fit the criteria set - see the Warm Homes Scheme website for more info! Suggest all landlords in NI look at this!

Anonymous said...

Landlords have a responsibilty to ensure that their properties are maintained to a reasonable standard. Sorry, but we've all known about the importance of insulation and energy saving for some years now and if landlords have skimped on improvements to date then I have little sympathy for them having to fork out now. I've seen some absolutely dreadful places for let where a high rent doesn't even secure a lick of paint or mended roof, let alone draught excluders or insulation!
Stop being so tight, stop whingeing about the expense and bring your properties up to modern standards. Fleece your lofts, not your tenants! Tenants are becoming more aware and, with rising fuel proces, will plump for insulated, energy efficient homes.
Green landlord.

Anonymous said...

Not if rental demands continues to grow and supply remains static.

A drafty property will be better than no property at all, Green Landlord.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should try to be a bit "greener" to "help save the planet", whether they are a landlord, or not!
I've have had cavity wall insulation & thick loft insulation put in the property I'm letting out (I've already got it in my home).
I think of it as a win win situation - improvement to a property helps to sell when eventually the property is put on the market, the tenant can expect smaller bills, which in turn helps them afford to pay the rent!
It is important to create a good landlord-tenant relationship if you don't want to be let down and my tenant knows that I'm trying to do the best for them as well taking the rent!

The Editor said...

I'm all for going green. I cycled to work everyday for 10 years. Give me the bike over the car any day.

My concern on retrofitted insulation is that there is a danger we swap the problem of drafts with that of damp caused by compensation. The anti landlord alliance will then try and demonize landlords by accusing them of forcing their tenants to live in damp infested hell holes. Tenants rental accommodation will become green, but not in the way the Government intended!