Dunstable Landlords should use energy saving improvements to make money in the future

Dunstable Landlords who make energy-saving improvements to their properties, like adding new boilers or loft insulation, stand to make more money in the future.

As a buy-to-let landlord in Dunstable, the chances are that a large majority of your costs – mostly mortgage payments and maintenance – come from a small proportion of the actual bills that come in. So it always pays to keep an eye on the big stuff.

Making your property more energy efficient is a way to cut costs. It may be the tenant who pays the gas and electricity bills and benefits directly from having a more efficient boiler or a well-insulated house that costs less to run, but the landlord will ultimately gain from any financial uplift that improvements bring to the property.

Unexpected costs such as broken boilers and pest control are major culprits and could leave landlords out of pocket to the tune of around £1,500 a year.

The rest of your outgoings, depending on your property and tenancy type, come from full management lettings fees and renewal fees, leasehold costs, insurance, professional fees, safety checks and from covering any void periods.

“Voids are potentially the greatest loss of income,” Daniel Bourke of Belvoir Lettings in Dunstable points out. “So keeping the property occupied by a good tenant is paramount. I would also add that a badly maintained property is more likely to remain empty and attract a poorer quality of tenant. “

Simple solutions such as inspecting and cleaning your property frequently can also cut bills. “Don’t leave minor repairs to a later date and always have good, presentable, minimal furnishing. It is detrimental to over-furnish,” says Daniel Bourke

As some of our Landlords have discovered, a combination of new boilers, cavity wall and loft insulation make their properties easier to let out. Daniel continues “By making their properties energy efficient, they are not only increasing the building’s performance but also making it more attractive to potential tenants.”

Landlords can receive funding for the improvements under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), part of the Government’s new Green Deal – a new way to pay for energysaving improvements to properties.

While the Green Deal means no upfront cost to landlords as the energy-saving improvements are repaid through the electricity bill (which means the tenant pays –though their new bills should be no higher than the old ones), the ECO scheme – with the co-operation of the big six energy suppliers – awards grants. It’s designed to help low-income families and improve the houses that are hardest to treat.

According to the National Landlords Association there are more than 4.5 million privately rented households which means there’s a lot of opportunity for landlords.

Landlords have been quick to latch on, with a recent YouGov poll showing that 58 per cent of landlords are aware of the Green Deal, compared with only 20 per cent of the general public but tenants are becoming savvier, starting to ask more about a property’s EPC

Daniel adds “Most landlords have no idea what it means for them or that there is money available through the ECO funding streams. Going green may not be plain-sailing and telling a tenant that they will have to pay more because of the benefits of double glazing or a new boiler isn’t a great selling point when there may be a similar, cheaper property available without Green Deal payments.”