There are plenty of ways in which we can do our bit in our homes in a bid to cut our carbon footprint. Installing smart and water meters, turning all appliances off rather than leaving them on standby, installing double glazing and fitting cavity wall insulation, even fitting solar panels and switching to ground source heat pumpscan all make a real difference – not least to our energy bills.
But if the property is not our own, is it reasonable to ask a landlord to do this for us? And are tenants that bothered?
According to a poll by our landlords, tenants are beginning to add eco-friendly features to their property wish lists and it’s a trend that is likely to develop.
Hawkins’ lettings agentCraig Arnold said: “Tenants we speak to are definitely more vocal in their desire for the property they will live in to incorporate environmentally friendly features,with smart meters being a particularly common request.
“However, we believe this is also as a result of higher energy bills so those properties with an EPC rating of C or above currently result in a quicker lets.
“It is for this reason we are seeing new builds renting out quicker. Certainly for landlords they represent a very favourable investment as the environmentally friendly features such as double glazing, insulation and new boilers are already built in.”
The good news for landlords is there are often grants available to help pay for some of the upgrades. For example, in April the government announced a new fund allowing landlords £350 towards the purchase and installation of charging points for electric cars.
Installation typically costs about £500 and with the rise in the number of electric cars on the roads this will prove a plus point when letting a property.
Up to 200 grants will be available per year per landlord and for those owning apartment blocks, additional funding will be available later this year to help fit out a residential car park with charge points.
Craig added: “We welcome the announcement of this grant as an increasing number of tenants are asking for charging points for their electric vehicles and this figure is only going to increase.
“Our advice to landlords is always to speak to us if you are unsure about what you need to do to bring your property up to a certain standard, whether that’s to do with energy efficiency or anything else. We are always here to help support and guide you through these situations.”