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Advice From Arla

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Landlords overseeing residential properties should consider measures to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The Government’s Green Deal will encourage landlords to take advantage of up-front financing to make their properties more energy efficient, where tenants request improvements be made.

For those landlords who don’t comply however, the Government has stated that it may introduce regulations to force landlords to improve their properties by 2015.

The Government’s aim is for all properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G to be improved beyond that grading, which may be a significant challenge for older properties.

So ARLA has come up with these simple tips to make your properties more efficient, thus saving money and further financial outlays in the future:

• Cavity wall and floor insulation: This can often be a disruptive process, but effective insulation will represent a significant step towards improving the energy efficiency of your property.

• Ensure you have effective loft insulation: Although many properties now have loft insulation installed, check the depth and quality. The recommended thickness is between 250-300mm for optimum energy efficiency.

• Insulate your water fittings: ARLA recommends that lagging should be installed around water pipes and boilers to minimise heat loss. As many will have experienced this winter, water pipes are also prone to freezing, so insulation should help to prevent this.

• Prevent draughts: Landlords should seek to block draughts in various parts of their properties, through draught proofing doors and windows, as well as reducing heat loss through floorboards.

• Install a thermostat on your boiler: Thermostats ensure that when a room reaches its optimum temperature of around 19 degrees centigrade, the heating is automatically switched off, thus reducing heating bills.

• Communicating with tenants: Effective communication between landlords and tenants can ensure that tenants are aware of the importance of energy efficiency, and take their own simple steps to reducing heating costs.

Ian Potter, Operations Manager of ARLA, commented: “Landlords can already take advantage of a tax allowance of up to £1,500 for these energy efficiency improvements through the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA). “It makes sense therefore for landlords to carry out these improvements straight away, as considerable cost savings can be made.”

Comment From Woodfield Lettings

Woodfield Lettings, a new agency based in Cheltenham, has a team of qualified and experienced contractors, ready to renovate, decorate or improve the Energy Rating of your rental property. Their main focus is always on good customer service and attention to detail. Communication is key to this, and they will liaise with your tenant (if occupied, of course) and take care of all aspects of the tenancy, from marketing and viewings to final check-out.

Letting your property can be a dounting prospect. “Whatever stage your investment is at, whatever state your property is in,” Says Marcus Annfield, Director, “We will guide you through the process. We would love to help, even if it’s just some friendly advice.”