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Article > Green Living is Here! Home energy improvements that DON’T cost the earth

Article kindly provided by Julie Ford

Hemel Landlord Property Network
07904 288188

The new coalition Governments coveted Green Deal, which is an attempt to insulate British homes and reduce energy usage and costs has today, made it into the statute books as the Energy Act 2011 and is now law, the Green deal is set to be introduce in late 2012.

The Green Deal, as it will be known, will revolutionise the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes, it will allow energy efficiency improvements to be carried out with no big upfront payout.

What does this mean for the rental market? from Autum 2012 landlords and tenants will be able to benefit from the new Green Deals Scheme for home improvements and energy efficiency with approved Green Deal providers offering upfront finance to businesses, private landlords, and householders to cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements, such as loft, cavity, and external wall insulation, and the best bit, you don’t pay a penny for this up front.

The cost of these improvements will be paid in instalments over 25 years through a surcharge on your fuel bills, but unlike a loan it is not linked to the person, it is linked to the property, therefore if you move home the payments do not follow you, the next occupant will simply take over the payments from their utility bills as they will then be the ones benefiting from the improvements and the subsequent reduction in the energy bills. This is a great step forward for tenants or owners on a low income or who don’t have the spare cash to update the energy efficiency of their homes and it is also a bonus for landlords who will see the rewards with little or no outlay.

From April 1, 2018, buy to let landlords must comply with the new standards, and must provide the proof to their tenants in the form of an energy performance certificate (EPC). Under the new legislation if a home fails to meet the minimum standards, for example an E rating on an EPC, then the landlord will not be able to let the property until the work that is required to bring the property above an E grade has been completed to meet the guidelines. Landlords who do let their properties which do not meet these standards or breach the guidelines could face a fine of up to £5,000

The Green Deal and Energy Act 2011 will also go a long way in helping to improve the standard of living in the UKs homes, having a knock on effect in terms of the money saved from heating an un-insulated home.

It is estimated there will be over 15 million installations carried out in homes across the UK with the most common being loft insulation, closely followed by cavity walls. On average, homes that take advantage of the Green Deal and improve their homes to be among the most energy efficient could save around £550 per year.

However as we know there is always a flipside to the golden coin, If landlords don’t adopt the Green Deal, then from 2015 tenants will be able to demand ‘reasonable’ energy efficiency adjustments to their rent.

Another booster for landlord which has been kept under the radar somewhat was the introduction of The Landlord’s energy Saving Allowance (LESA) This was introduced in 2007 and was designed to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties with the added bonus of claiming back the expenditure on these improvements.

Landlords can claim a maximum of £1,500 for specific energy improvements per dwelling per year on any improvement carried out before April 2015. The only down side is that this allowance does not cover work done to properties where only rooms are let nor does it cover holiday homes or businesses but as only a small minority of landlord would be in these categories most landlord can happily improve their homes and recoup the expenditure



About the Author

Julie Ford runs the Hemel Landlord & Property Network

The network is predominately designed for landlords and property investors, we offer advice and guidance on all aspects of buying, selling, renting and managing your property, whether you are a 1st time landlord or a seasoned investor The Hemel Property Network has all the tools you need to help you make the most of your investment.

We meet Last Thursday of the Month, at 19:00 and encourage our guests to arrive early so that you can get to know your fellow property networkers.

Next HLPN Meeting : 27th October 2011 - 19:00

Venue : Holiday Inn Express - Apsley Lock - Stationers Place, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP3 9RH



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