Like most property owners, landlords can often focus more attention on the aesthetics of a property; the decor, furnishings, gardens and curb appeal rather than the less visual aspects of responsible property ownership, such as energy efficiency, utility usage and general maintenance. These may be less obvious considerations but are in fact, more important!
Two key areas often overlooked by many property owners are ventilation and insulation. Whilst you might not consider them to be important, the problems associated with poor ventilation and insulation, such as mould, damp and high energy bills, can end up costing you in the long-run. Get on top of these issues now to avoid costly repairs in the future, unhappy tenants and even prosecution from your local authority!
If air isn’t allowed to circulate, it can quickly lead to a build-up of moisture, resulting in condensation and surface mould forming.
If any dampness and mould aren’t dealt with at an early stage, they can spread quickly and widely, damaging furniture and belongings, and even causing mite infestations. As well as being unpleasant and uncomfortable to live with, moulds can produce mites which in turn can cause allergens, irritants and even toxic substances, meaning that if they’re touched or inhaled, your tenants could end up suffering allergic reactions, asthma attacks, respiratory infections – even a weakening of their immune system.
An increasingly popular option for landlords who want to take a big step towards eliminating these risks is installing a ventilation system, such as the ones provided by Envirovent. Their products range from single extractor units for kitchens and bathrooms to energy-efficient, whole-house systems that reduce humidity levels and diminish damp, mould and condensation issues throughout the home.
When you consider the cost of ventilating, versus the cost of solving severe damp issues and potentially falling foul of your Housing Health and Safety Rating System obligations which can mean fines of up to £30,000, it should work out to be a worthwhile investment and their initial assessment is free.
When you’re making improvements to your rental property, always think about how you can improve energy efficiency. One of the key things to consider is that the lower the utility bills for your tenants, the more likely they are to be able to afford the rent, or any increases.
In addition, from April 2018, it will be illegal to let a property rated F or G on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and this is something that may well be tightened up again in the future. If you do as much as you can to get the energy rating up to the average of D or above, you’ll ‘future proof’ the property, giving yourself the best chance of not having to make any further energy efficiency improvement works in the next five to ten years.
Key areas to insulate are the loft, floors, and if you can walls too. Ideally windows should be double glazed and all the window and door seals should be in a good condition. Once you’ve made insulation improvements, have an Energy Assessor visit the property and issue an up-to-date EPC.
If you’re a landlord and looking for a professional to carry out property insulation Manchester based RFM Trading are qualified property maintenance contractors who regularly conduct ventilation and insulation installation work. All our work comes with a 12 month guarantee and we ensure we obtain warranties on your behalf for the parts, fixtures or fittings that we install, including kitchen and bathroom suites and any inbuilt electrical appliances.
Please call us on 0161 707 6106 / 07964 552 310 or email us on [email protected] to discuss your property project. We’d be happy to offer you some free initial advice and a quote for ventilating or insulating your rental property.
Tips taken from an article by Directline For Business.