Landlords 'should improve energy efficiency of homes'
by Sarah Ashcroft
Property owners who are hoping to increase their income in the current economic climate by attracting interest from potential renters could make attempts to improve the energy efficiency of their properties - as this may save money for cash-strapped individuals.
New research carried out by price comparison website uSwitch.com revealed that people who are dealing with a private landlord are currently being left behind in the race to reduce energy bills, with just 38 per cent changing to a cheaper supplier.
In addition, the study revealed over a quarter (27 per cent) of people pay little or no attention to the energy efficiency of their home, which is worrying for those who are currently struggling to make payments due to the strain on their finances.
For this reason, it may be a good idea for proprietors to highlight the cheapest offers available for their tenants - while installing energy-efficient measures in properties - as less than a third (31 per cent) are aware they can switch to a less expensive deal.
One of the biggest concerns among individuals who are renting privately is how the property owner will react when asked about changing gas or electricity companies - with just 15 per cent believing the suggestion would be welcomed.
This attitude seemed to be echoed regarding the issue of energy efficiency, with just over one-quarter (26 per cent) of respondents saying they would not talk about installing equipment such as solar panels because they do not think the landlord would be interested.
Commenting on the results, Ann Robinson - director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com - said: "The fact is that if your name is on the bill you have the right to shop around for a better energy deal.
"If your rental contract says otherwise, then talk to your landlord or letting agent - at the end of the day it is in both parties' interests for rented homes to be on a cost effective tariff and as energy efficient as possible."
Landlords who want to encourage their tenants to be more energy efficient and reduce utility bills can use Lawpack's Energy Efficient Tenancy Agreement
This tenancy agreement template includes clauses that encourage tenants to be green and conserve energy. It's solicitor approved and includes expert guidance notes.
Published on: August 29, 2012
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