A top lettings expert has advised that landlords need to make properties greener to fall in line with new legislation designed to improve energy efficiency.
Ajay Jagota, managing director of North East based KIS Lettings, is encouraging landlords to make changes before the new requirements become mandatory.
The new legislation, which is part of the Energy Act 2011, makes landlords legally responsible for improving the energy rating of their property.
A recent survey claimed that 14.5% of landlord owned properties that fall within the bottom two energy efficiency categories of the Energy Performance Certificate (categories F and G). The certificate is required in each home and contains information such as how much energy a home typically uses. The current rating runs from A-G.
From April 2018, renting out properties that fall below minimum standard E will be against the law, and landlords will be lawfully obliged to improve the energy rating of their property under the Energy Act 2011.
Ajay explains: “At KIS Lettings, all our branch managers are trained to carry out the Energy Performance Certificates on our properties. This covers factors such as identifying the type of boiler, how water is heated and stored, thickness of walls and the number of low energy light bulbs.”
As part of the Energy Act 2011, the Green Deal will also be introduced. This is a financial arrangement to allow landlords or homeowners to make improvements to their property and pay back the cost overtime through their electricity bills.
The Green Deal also means that from April 2016, a landlord will not be able to refuse a tenant’s reasonable request to make energy efficient improvements in their tenancy where support is available.
Ajay adds: “Even though some of the legislation is still a few years away from being brought in to action, it is important for landlords to think ahead and start to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
“There are a number of ways you can save energy in your home, such as double-glazed windows, thermostatic valves on radiators, draft-proofing windows and doors, and insulating your hot water tank will all contribute to saving energy and money.”
Introducing new energy efficiencies will help to make property more attractive to tenants. With soaring energy prices, energy bill savings will be welcomed by tenants wanting to reduce costs.
Ajay continues: “Tenants are becoming savvier when it comes to energy, especially when costs are so high. With the current property market being so competitive, it is good to set your property apart from the rest.”
KIS Lettings’ trained branch managers carry out EPC assessments on behalf of landlords to ensure tenancies comply with the EPC assessment criteria.