Top tips on how to make your rental property energy efficient
As climate change remains high on the agenda and rising energy prices habitually make almost daily headlines, it is important for landlords to make time to think about the energy efficiency of their property. From next year, landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants to improve the energy efficiency of the property and with rising rents, tenants are ever mindful about keeping outgoings to a minimum. What is more, from April 2018, new legislation will come into force making it an offence for landlords to rent out properties which only have an F or G Energy Performance Certificate rating. Currently, you are obligated by law to furnish your tenants with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) should they request one.
So what can you do to keep energy costs down and reduce your carbon footprint in the process?
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Energy Performance Certificates are useful - take time to read through any recommendations made by the assessor as the certificate will contain specific ideas and information on how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
Old boilers are not very efficient and by replacing one with its more modern counterpart great savings can be made on energy bills - meaning happy tenants!
Consider investing in double-glazing as heat can be lost through single glazed window panels. Invest in good quality thick curtains too and draught excluders for doors. Insulate roof and wall spaces where applicable and lay down some thick carpets on old stripped wooden floor boards - they maybe on trend but they can let the draughts in and the heat out.
It’s a control thing
Tenants should be shown how to use thermostat controls, using the timers to coincide with their regular routines. Consider installing thermostatic radiator valves as they regulate the radiator output automatically. It is the aim of the government that Smart Meters will be installed in every home and business by 2020. Currently tenants can have these installed without asking your permission if they are responsible for paying the energy bills.
As a landlord you may not immediately see or feel the direct benefits of improving the energy efficiency of your rental property, but you will ultimately reap indirect benefits. For example, by increasing the amount of insulation your property is less likely to incur condensation (however you still do need to ensure there is adequate ventilation). Additionally, tenants appreciate a property where outgoings can be kept to a minimum which will help attract and retain tenants. In summary, going green is a good idea for landlords and tenants and, of course, being good for the environment.
A tenants guide to tackling damp, mould and condensation
It is really important to tackle condensation in your home as it can result in mould and damp. Just doing everyday tasks such as washing, cooking, drying your clothes and taking baths and showers can result in more moisture being released into the air than you realise; especially if the flat or house is shared by several people. If too much moisture is produced, it will settle onto cold surfaces, such as walls or windows, wardrobes and doors. If left unaddressed, mould will grow representing a health risk and can destroy furniture, clothes and wallpaper. It looks pretty horrible too!
So what can you do? Here are our top tips for tackling mould and condensation
Don’t get steamy in the kitchen! Or the bathroom for that matter! Ventilate the rooms and let the air circulate! Open a window if you are cooking or taking a bath to allow the steam to escape.
Don’t be a wallflower! Don’t push your furniture up against the wall as you need to allow air to move behind it.
We all love fans! Use your extractor fan if you are cooking and in the bathroom too.
2. Regulate your heating
We all know how important it is to keep an eye on all those bills, but during colder weather it is important to keep the heating on all day, even if it is set very low, in order to avoid condensation problems.
Avoid using paraffin heaters or gas fuelled portable heaters as these can produce excess water.
Keep doors open in the flat or house to allow warm air to circulate, espcially if you don't have heating in every room.
3. Produce less moisture
You can reduce the amount of the water in the air by adopting the following solutions:-
Keep a lid on things!
When you are cooking, use saucepans with lids and keep the kitchen door closed to avoid the excess moisture escaping into other rooms.
Keep radiators free of clothes! Don’t be tempted to dry wet clothes on the radiator.
Try and dry clothes outside if at all possible, if it is not, then hang them up in the bathroom and keep the door closed.
Keep an eye on any condensation forming on the walls and windows and wipe off the moisture, daily if possible.
If you have an ongoing problem with mould and condensation and have tried keeping it at bay with the above suggestions, then let us know. Mould and damp should not be left untreated and we are happy to conduct a site visit.