E by gum – advice for Leeds landlords from Stephen

by on 12th April 2018

You know when you’re buying white goods, like fridges, freezers, washing machines, and even televisions, they all have that vertical sticky label running for the first part of the alphabet?

A, A+, A++ being the most efficient and H being the least?

You may or may not be aware that all privately rented homes now have to rated as E or above. 

You have time though to make changes:

The rules come into play for existing tenancies in 2020.

According to Government figures there could be up to 285,000 properties in need of urgent work. Landlords who don’t carry out the required upgrades could face fines of up to £5,000 per property. But it appears many remain unaware of the looming deadline.

So what can you do as a Leeds landlord in the meantime?

You should check your current EPC and then decide what action is needed.

We asked Stephen Thorpe what his advice would be.

He gave us 5 handy pointers:

  1. Check insulation. This is a quick and cost-effective way of improving your property’s energy rating. You’re looking at around £5 per square metre so it could only cost £400 to £500 and will dramatically improve your score.
  2. Change light bulbs to LED. Cheaper than loft insulation, this £80 spend could tip your property across the E threshold.
  3. Windows. If your property has single glazing or poor double glazing, even secondary glazing can be a wise investment. In the two to three bedroomed properties we let, most are double glazed but improving them will make your property more efficient and more attractive to tenants.
  4. A new boiler. This is a fairly major spend but you may need to make it if the boiler is old or needing regular maintenance. If you don’t want to make that investment, Stephen recommends point 5 as a stop-gap.
  5. Radiator valves. If you install thermostatic valves on radiators, your rating should increase by 10 points and it’s one we’d recommend if cashflow is an issue.

If you’d like any more buy to let tips, or any advice form one of our team, contact Stephen or one of the Hogan’s team today.

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