Eco-friendly home – Is this attractive to tenants?

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  • Eco-friendly home – Is this attractive to tenants?

Why an eco-friendly home can increase your chances of attracting tenants

Sustainability has been a major talking point, with the COP26 conference taking place and the numerous protests about climate change and making properties eco-friendly.

So, it might be unsurprising that with green issues increasingly on the political and social agenda that an eco-friendly home can be a substantial draw for tenants. According to new research, tenants are even willing to pay more for greener homes.

What did the study reveal?

A recent survey from an online platform has found that tenants would be happy to pay more for an eco-friendly rental property. According to the research, 98% of respondents claimed they would prefer a house optimised to increase energy efficiency, lower energy costs and minimise environmental impact.

A further 53% of people said they were prepared to pay more for a greener home and of those slightly over half would pay 10% more rent, and a third would agree to take a 5% rent increase. The study also showed that one in 12 people would agree to a 20% rent increase.

According to the survey, 85% of renters would consider a ‘green lease’ as part of the solution to help make the rental sector improve its sustainability credentials. Green leases include clauses designed to ensure the tenant and landlord work together to better the rental property’s energy efficiency while lowering costs and environmental impact.

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What do tenants expect from their rental properties?

The survey also hinted that tenants expect their rental homes to already have some sustainable features. The vast majority of respondents – 95% – expect their rental home to have double glazing and 92% expect it to have loft or wall insulation. A further 92% of respondents expect recycling bins while 73% expect LED lightbulbs.

In regards to technology, 56% of tenants expect smart meters to be in place while 38% have the same expectation of thermostats. The research also discovered 50% of renters expect dual flush toilets, while 26% expect solar panels and ground source heating.

How can landlords make their rental property more eco-friendly?

As the research reveals that an energy-efficient home can not only help landlords attract more tenants but command a higher rental fee, it can be useful for landlords to know how to make their property more eco-friendly.

Loft insulation

Badly insulated roofs and walls can be a major contributor to energy wastage. Good loft insulation can help make your property more energy-efficient, as well as saving between £120 and £225 annually, depending on the type of property you own and where you live, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Install  smart thermostats

Another way to keep your property warm in an energy-efficient way is by getting smart thermostats, as they keep your property heated whilst using the least amount of energy.

Solar energy

Energy from the sun is not only eco-friendly but also free and solar energy is a way to boost your property’s green credentials. Solar energy can also be even more effective as it’s a form of renewable energy and that means it can’t run out. You can make the change to solar energy by installing solar panels.

Switching boilers

A newer and more energy-efficient boiler can help make your property more eco-friendly. A boiler with a larger heat exchanger will recover more heat than the older models.

Use energy-saving lighting

With respondents to the survey saying they expect LED lighting, switching to energy-saving lightbulbs will also help to make your property greener and could in turn be more appealing to tenants.

Double-glazing on windows

According to USwitch, around 20% of your home’s heating is lost through single glazed windows. Installing double glazing can substantially lower the amount of heating that is lost. This is due to its insulating barrier.

Install a water-saving showerhead

Baths are likely to waste a lot of water and showers can be the more eco-friendly option. However, a twenty-minute shower in scalding hot water might not be as energy-efficient as your shower can be. It can be a good idea to install a water-saving showerhead, which can help to reduce energy and water wastage.

To get the most from your tenancies, you need to work with an experienced, reputable letting agent. Here at Harringtons Lettings, we can help you to remain compliant. Ensuring you get the most from the tenancies of your properties.

We cover a wide range of areas across Sussex. Also offering management across the whole of the UK if required. You can find out more about us here. You can also contact us here to find out more about our services.

What are the current regulations?

The current regulations regarding eco-friendly houses comes under the domestic minimum energy efficient standards commonly known as MEES. These are regulations set out on what a minimum energy efficient level of private rented domestic properties is required. If y our property is let under an assured short-hold tenancy, regulated tenancy or a domestic agricultural tenancy then it is covered by the regulations. You are now legally required to carry an energy performance every 10 years.

Since the 1st April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES regulations if they have an EPC rating below E. Unless you have a valid exception in place.

If you are currently planning to rent a property with an EPC rating of F or G, you need to improve the property rating to an E. Alternatively register for an exception before you enter into a tenancy.

If you are currently letting a property with an F or G and you haven’t taken action already you must improve the properties rating to E immediately.

Funding improvements to your property.

There is a cost cap you will never be required to spend more than £3,500.00 including VAT on any energy efficiency improvements.

If you cannot improve your property to an EPC E for £3,500.00 or less, you should make all improvements you can make up to that amount. Then register for an all improvements made exception.

What will be taken into account when you an Energy Performance Certificate is dealt with?

The following;

  1. Walls
  2. Roofs
  3. Windows
  4. Main heating controls
  5. Hot water
  6. Lighting
  7. Flooring
  8. Secondary heating

The environmental impact of the property is also taken into account and there will be recommendations on how to improve these.

Recommendations are often such as;

  1. Flat roof or sloping ceiling installation
  2. Party wall installation
  3. Internal and external walls installation
  4. Floor installation
  5. Solar water heating
  6. Solar panels

The EPC will also give an estimated energy use and potential savings during the year for the property.

Will the law change again?

Yes, the law will change again in future and you will be required to keep improving your EPC during the next few years. The Government eventually wishes to get every property or as many as possible up to a rating of at least B. If not C.

It is important that you take into account everything the Government are now looking at.

Do you have a property and are looking for a property valuation?

We deal with all types of property in Brighton, Hove seafront, Hove, Portslade, Hangleton and many other areas. Anything from small studios up to large property houses and grade listed buildings. Why not contact us on 01273 724000 for a property valuation.

iInsure 365

Have you been introduced to our sister company iInsure 365 who deal with all types of insurance? You wont have to worry about filing out a long lengthy forms to find cheap landlord insurance. With iInsure 365 you can speak to one of the team and they will find you a quote through their panel of provider. They deal with all types of level of cover and have various different insurer who can offer quotes for you. There are legal requirements for landlords and it is important that you have the right insurance company to deal with your insurance cover.

A landlord may have one or more properties in the United Kingdom that they rent out. It is important for landlords to spend time looking for the right insurance. Make sure you find an insurance policy specifically designed for landlords. They can ensure properties from all over the United Kingdom for you.

Landlords often believe that a new home policy will suffice. This is not the case and they will then make a claim which virtually all insurers will turn down. Standard home insurance policy mostly cover homeowners or property owners, not landlords. If you stick with your normal house insurance policy you can find yourself with no cover at all.

Landlords building insurance

Landlord building insurance is specifically tailored for landlords and their requirements. iInsure 365 will insure what you need for your policy.

Are you aware of the growing risk of underinsurance?

In the words of the financial conduct authority “there is already an alarming degree of underinsurance”. With both the UK businesses and consumers creating issues throughout each of the property sectors.

It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure they take out sufficient levels for cover for the insured risk of having insurance.

If they fail to take out sufficient level of cover this can have devastating consequences for you. It can result in significant reductions to any insurance pay outs and potentially in the worst case scenario, it may void the policy. Resulting in no pay out at all.

A practical example is as follows;

If the rebuild cost of your premises is £200,000 but the property is only insured for £100,000. You are underinsured by 50%. Every insurance company will have an average clause in the policy which is standard and therefore it reduces the sum insured by leaving the policy holder with 50% of an insurance pay out of just £50,000.

We understand from iInsure that they recently had one of their clients check their rebuild costs. iInsure have an ability to be able to check a policy for the correct sum insured for only £160.00. Substantially more than what most surveyors charge.

The client was insured for £630,000. Once the report was carried out it stated that it should have been £856,000. There was an underinsurance of £226,000 which would have been taken off any claim.

They can provide you with a RICKS certified up to date revaluation. Ensuring that your property is correctly insured for the right amount. The cost is minimal compared to what the situation would be if you weren’t paid out to the correct amount.

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