From off-shore wind turbines for sustainable electricity to new boilers, green energy is a hot topic. Accordingly to ludlowthompson, London's Letting Agent, buy-to-let landlords with energy efficient homes should benefit from the growing popularity of low-carbon lifestyles.
With current shortage of properties to rent, landlords do not need to make improvements to let property. However if a landlord has taken advantage of his £1500 energy allowance, promoting the improvements to tenants can do no harm.
As more young people look at the costs to their wallet and the planet, landlords should make more of promoting their property's green credentials. ludlowthompson.com says that landlords letting homes that have scored highly on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating rarely inform prospective tenants, even though an energy efficient property could attract more tenants and therefore a premium rent.
Says Stephen Ludlow, Director of ludlowthompson.com: “Landlords with energy efficient property should tap into the growing demand for low-carbon living by letting prospective tenants know that their property has a low impact – both on the environment and their tenants’ purses because of cheaper bills.”
“The green agenda is becoming increasingly important to people, particularly among the post-university, young professional market, which is a key constituent of the rentals market in cities like London, Manchester and Leeds.”
“A lot of people assume that new build properties are the most energy efficient, but in reality these often score more lowly than older housing stock, perhaps because the developer decided to cut corners.”
The most effective measures to improve a property’s energy efficiency are:
• Installing an efficient boiler
• Double glazing the windows
• Insulating the walls and ceiling
• Providing energy efficient applications, such as washing machine and dishwasher
• Installing a smart meter so that tenants can easily monitor their energy usage
Stephen Ludlow adds: “One of the problems with the EPC systems is that it does not recognise improvements to energy efficiency, but that doesn’t prevent the landlord from telling prospective tenants about them.”
“Although tenants and buyers are still attracted first and foremost by the location and appearance of the property, cheap energy bills and a low environmental impact are becoming important features."