Energy, energy, energy – it seems to the buzzword of the day at the minute. With environmental issues dominating the news agenda, people everywhere are starting to look at how they can be more energy efficient and ‘green’.
This includes landlords, who can carry out a number of measures to ensure their rental properties are up to scratch when it comes to improving energy efficiency.
Below, using our experience as West Lothian’s first dedicated letting agency, we outline some of the best ways to go about doing this…
Install solar panels
A costly investment, yes (you’re unlikely to get them installed for cheaper than £6,000), but they do have benefits too, in the form of cheaper energy bills and improving your EPC rating.
Some tenants may also appreciate the green credentials of creating their own electricity from sunlight. On the downside, they’re not always the most pleasing on the eye and they rely on sunlight to function – which, as any resident of Scotland will tell you, is not something we’re exactly blessed with on a regular basis.
Still, there is no doubt it will improve your property’s EPC rating (sometimes by as much as two grades) and may increase the amount you can charge in rent.
It’s also a very good selling point to a certain type of tenant, while cheaper electricity bills will be welcomed by you and your renters.
Replace old boilers
As you would expect, modern boilers tend to be much more energy efficient than older ones. So, if the boilers in your rental properties haven’t been replaced for a very long time, it may be something worth considering.
Again, it won’t be cheap, but there will be plenty of rewards in the long-term, with hundreds of pounds saved and your property’s carbon emissions drastically reduced.
Every new boiler installed since 2010 has been required to be at least 88% efficient. For older boilers, though, this figure can fall to 70% or less. Investing in a new boiler might cost in the short-term, but it is likely to pay for itself over time.
Insulation, insulation, insulation
Insulating the loft is a cheap and relatively easy way to save your tenants money on bills (up to £250 per year). It won’t cost much – although this will vary depending on the type of property you have – and it can be done without calling the professionals in.
Having said that, if you’re not entirely confident in what you’re doing, it would be sensible to call in outside help. A botched job helps no-one.
You should also look at effective ways of insulating the floors, walls and roofs in your rental properties to prevent heat getting out during the colder months. None of this comes cheap, but it will appeal to tenants and you are likely to see the rewards in the long-term.
Keep the draughts out
Double (or even triple) glazing will help, as will thick curtains, reflector pads for radiators and draught excluders for doors and windows.
The latter two can be purchased cheaply from any decent hardware store. Tenants won’t want to feel a draught, so if you can prevent this from happening it stands to reason that they will be happier. Keeping your tenants happy is all-important and little steps like this will help towards that goal.
There are plenty of reasons for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes – not just for the sake of the environment but also for financial reasons.
Here at Letting Solutions we have the experience and know how to help you with all elements of letting homes and property management.
To get in touch, please contact us on 01506 496006. If you want to know how much your rental property could be worth in the current marketplace, check out our instant online valuation tool.