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  • Buy-to-Let

    EPC - the cost to get to E rating

    Trajectory is that by 2025 will need to be D

    By 2030 or 35 will need to be C

    So if you're finding it not cost effective to get up to E flog it now before it gets worse...

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    DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.

    That was one proposal. The private members bill last year proposed going straight to C, but seems to have stalled.

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    Half of mine have gas and half are all-electric. I used to be in favour of gas as it's cheaper per kWh, but many landlords and agents have said "all electric is favourite if renting - you'll get less hassle", and my experience has proven them correct. With gas systems, there's a steady flow of reported faults over the last 5 years, e.g. water leaks, boiler faults (no hot water or heating), expensive replacement gas valves and diverter valves, and the annual gas safe test (only £60 but you have to arrange visits, keys etc.). Last year one boiler, not that old, had to be replaced ("it's the main control panel gone belly-up, can't get them now, you need a new boiler, £1500" ), whilst another really old back boiler is on its last legs...

    The older electric systems soldier on. Over the years, I've had only the following:

    1) wasted call-out to explain to new tenants that the heater won't work if the switch on the wall is off!

    2) wasted call-out to explain to new tenants that a storage heater doesn't blow out instant heat but needs at least 24 hours to heat up!

    3) thermal fuse failed in a storage heater (ageing) - repayment part cost about £15 inc, postage.

    The cost to me was negligible, as, being an electrician, I did the call-outs myself.

    I'm told by a retiring academic who has worked in energy schemes all his life, and who supports the Green Party that a large chunk of our electricity is now generated by  wind and solar power. I don't know the percentage. (I suspect it's like the UK population: nobody knows the true figure, least of all the government; my guess is the true figure is at least 70 million.)

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    Do you though experience higher tenant turnover in the places with electric storage heaters - versus GCH?

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    Good question. I had to make a list of which were which. The answer is I've not noticed any difference. The only problem with transiency was in one where there was a drugs/dealer/vandalism issue affecting the whole block, which thankfully disappeared 6 months ago when they finally evicted the criminal tenant; nothing to do with being all electric.

    After a relatively stable fully occupied period, two tenants have handed in their notice, both long term ones with gas CH.

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    Thanks that is interesting - I guess heating type/cost is lower priority for tenants than eg location/property size/type.

    Do you find with electric storage heating the tenants top up heating via electric convectors?


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    The all electric ones are the smaller ones, e.g. studio or 1 bed, so I guess cheaper rent is the main concern. I've only seen convectors used in extreme cold, or when the gas CH has failed again.

    The more complicated something is, the more there is to go wrong. An electric heater is pretty dang simple, usually with no moving parts (although I just remembered, I had to clean and lubricate the bearings of a blower fan once). In contrast, a modern gas system is full of complicated electronics, moving bits and pieces etc.

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    OK so smaller units will logically be working tenants with no kids so empty all day and needing only a few hrs heating during the working week.

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    Jamie, Please apply the test "Would I like to live there?".  

    Please, us landlords need to raise the standard of our rental property. If it takes this law to force some landlords to do that I see it as a good law.  Generally money spent improving the quality of housing as a good investment as it increases its market value.  I encourage you to spend the money and upgrade all your properties to modern standards :o).

    As the subject of electric heating versus gas heating has cropped up twice recently, here is a useful informative comparison (a few years out of date, but the principle still applies):

    Ref: https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-...aters.html

    Good luck with your forthcoming project!gas, oil, electricity heating costs compared





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    Electric is fine in very well insulated properties, more commonly found in modern flats. But where insulation levels are poorer the sheer amount of energy that needs to be pumped into a building to keep it warm favours gas.

    So if you already have electric heating its a case of seeing if insulation can be improved sufficiently for the cost of installing gas heating to even costs out, an epc is really just interested in the cost of energy.

    the gvernment shelved the propsed building sustainability codes, they would have been a great improvement on current energy efficiency standards and made electric heating far more viable.

    In the future there may be scope for district heating schemes using “waste” heat from generating and incineration. Use of gas will slowly tail away but very slowly.

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