How to make your property have the X Factor?

What can you do to make sure your property has the X Factor

Extra attractive to tenants that is! In our recent survey of over 1,000 tenants across the UK, we found that over a fifth of tenants in the UK have no plans to ever buy a property, and therefore they are likely to be looking at taking on long-term leases, and the ongoing running cost of their rental properties will be a very real consideration.

A house in West Kirby was honoured at the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Awards this week, after designers announced that it would run on the equivalent power used by a 40W light bulb, at the astonishing cost of only £15 a year for heating, lighting and hot water - whether you were looking to buy or rent this property, monthly outgoings of this amount would surely be something that would tempt you to go and take a very close look!

The four-bedroomed property is built of insulated masonry and concrete, and has been designed so that windows and panels on the roof receive the optimum amount of sunlight, allowing the owners to maximise the use of solar power.
Your property doesn’t have to have a modern masterpiece to perform efficiently though, there are a few simple adjustments you can make to even the oldest building which will make a real difference to the energy output, and ultimately the bills – especially at this time of year!

  • Make sure that your boiler is performing as well as it can. Many boilers have a visible pressure gauge that can be adjusted, so make sure this is set at the right pressure for your property’s needs, and adjust it as necessary.
  • Consider having cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and hot water cylinder lagging installed. These simple changes can up to double your EPC rating, so if your property is looking poor, or you are concerned about how tenants will react to predicted costs, it is worth looking at these options. There is government funding available for 90% of suitable homes across the UK to receive for grants for free insulation, so why not take advantage of this opportunity and try and increase your property’s score – it will cost you nothing and could end up saving your tenants thousands!
  • The windows and doors to your property are an area that are taken into consideration when EPC checks are carried out, and its worth considering that there is no point insulating your property if the windows don’t keep the warmth in! Replacement can be a costly procedure, however poorly maintained, drafty windows can be a real turn-off for many potential tenants, so ensuring that your windows are fitted with draft-excluders (available from good DIY stores) will help keep in the cosiness that you’ve worked hard to maintain. However, if you can justify replacing poorly fitting windows, it is a worthwhile investment.

As well as being beneficial to your property marketing, displaying an EPC is a legal requirement, so it is vital that you have one, regardless of the results. Under the new Section 21 legislation that came into force on October 1st 2015, an energy performance certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for any landlord to provide at the start of any lease in the UK. Without this, a Gas Safety Report, and a copy of ‘How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England’, your tenancy agreement will not be legally binding. The document will last for 10 years, and can be used multiple times.

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