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The leading landlord trade body last week launched a new scheme called Home Bank to encourage tenants and landlords to help one another save energy this winter, when sky-high energy prices are an issue for many.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has conducted research which reveals that just 22% of renters have made a request for their landlord to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their property.
At the same time, 41% of tenants who took this course of action reported that their landlords had responded positively to their request – suggesting it’s something more tenants should consider.
The NRLA research also found that only one in five tenants turn to their landlords or letting agents for guidance on cutting bills, with tenants far more likely to resort to internet searches (44%) or friends and family (39%) for tips on energy saving.
As a consequence of this, the organisation claims that almost a quarter of tenants are unaware or unsure of how to make basic savings (such as adjusting their radiators). Meanwhile, it revealed that one in six aren’t aware of where their thermostat is.
It is with this in mind that the NRLA, in conjunction with Birmingham council, has set up the Home Bank – which aims to change the above.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said that both landlords and tenants are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, with ‘greater coordination’ needed between both parties to help improve energy efficiency in privately rented homes this winter.
He said: “We’re launching the Home Bank to raise awareness that by working together, landlords and their tenants can significantly increase the energy efficiency of properties and support each other through this winter.”
The housing lead on Birmingham council, Councillor Sharon Thompson, added: “Given the cost of living crisis, any help and support which is available to tenants and landlords in the form of home improvements is welcome. So I hope this stall will act as a real one stop shop for tenants and landlords to find out about what is available.”
What are the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of a rental home?
It’s often the little, or easily achievable things, that make a real difference when it comes to boosting energy efficiency.
Tenants can save energy by fitting correctly adjusted and thermal curtains, which can help reduce heat loss by up to 10% - a simple and easy win for all parties.
The NRLA’s survey found that installing curtains (43%) was just ahead of swapping incandescent lamps for LED lights (41%) and covering hard floors with rugs (37%) as the main things tenants do to make their home more energy efficient.
The trade body says there are other simple and effective ways to save energy in the home as well, including draught-proofing around windows and doors (which could save around £60 a year on energy bills). What’s more, the NRLA said draught-proofing open chimneys when they are not in use could cut costs by approximately £90 a year.
Such savings are not to be sniffed at, especially in an energy and cost-of-living crisis, while other, more expensive measures – such as installing solar panels, a new boiler or heat source pumps – will cost more in the short-term but could bring long-term rewards.
An energy-efficient home is increasingly crucial for landlords – not just because of the savings that can be made by all parties, the higher rents that could be charged (eco-friendly homes increasingly command a premium) and the boost to reputation among the UK’s increasingly green-conscious tenants, but also to keep up with Energy Performance Certificate regulations, which will be further strengthened in the coming years.
We recently looked at how landlords can make their rental homes more energy saving, from power strips to water heater settings.
Here at Farrell Heyworth, we operate in the busy North West towns and villages of Garstang, Lancaster, Morecambe, Preston, Cleveleys, Barrow and Chorley. To find out how we can assist you on your lettings journey, please get in touch with us today.
We encourage all our customers to register with our My FH portal, which will give you access to the most up-to-date information; remotely and at your convenience.
You can also find out how much you could be charging on the local rental market by requesting a free and instant online valuation today.
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