My fake lawn just doesn’t cut it with ten­ants

Cos­metic im­prove­ments are all very well but a fuel-ef­fi­cient flat with lower bills is the pri­or­ity for Lon­don renters, says Vic­to­ria Whit­lock

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Letting On -

win­dows with dou­ble glaz­ing, pro­vid­ing ef­fi­cient boil­ers and en­sur­ing good in­su­la­tion, es­pe­cially in walls and lofts.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are sev­eral fund­ing op­tions avail­able, in­clud­ing loans from the Green Deal Fi­nance Com­pany, which are re­paid by ten­ants through their elec­tric­ity bills; the En­ergy Com­pany Obli­ga­tion, and lo­cal au­thor­ity grants.

Land­lords who can’t get fund­ing to cover the en­tire costs of the im­prove­ments can ap­ply for ex­emp­tion from pros­e­cu­tion. This is also the case for land­lords with listed build­ings and prop­er­ties where the fuel ef­fi­ciency rat­ing re­mains be­low Band E de­spite mak­ing all the rec­om­mended im­prove­ments. Of course, once the prop­erty is fuel ef­fi­cient, warm in win­ter and cheaper to heat, it should be eas­ier to rent, and ten­ants might stay longer if they’re more com­fort­able and their bills are lower.

Gov­ern­ment fig­ures show that im­prov­ing a prop­erty’s en­ergy ef­fi­ciency rat­ing from G to E will save a ten­ant £1,150 a year. That’s got to be ap­peal­ing. And im­prove­ments can even in­crease a prop­erty’s re­sale value. My flat al­ready has dou­ble glaz­ing, a new boiler and a pretty de­cent Band C en­ergy rat­ing, so there’s not much more I can do ex­cept hope that my re­cent re­fur­bish­ments at­tract ten­ants.

MAYBE I shouldn’t have gone in for lit­tle lux­u­ries such as un­der­floor heat­ing and easy-to-main­tain plas­tic grass but let’s hope some­one ap­pre­ci­ates them — and can af­ford them, too.

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