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May, 2017

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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    2,079

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    I have gas combi boilers and they all have a horstmann timer on them. Google them and see if you can get one or similar and get the one with the shortest times on it. The tenants have to switch it on when they want heating. Make sure you make it clear no large electric appliances such as tumble dryers and heaters are not included in the electric componant of the rent so please don't bring them into the house. I've never had anyone bring in a tumble dryer! I always include gas and elec, water, council tax and BB but not a tv licence for the room although there is one for the shared living room.

    If you have tenants leaving the windows and doors open with the heating on put up a notice along the lines of 'in order to keep rents down please ensure windows and doors are closed when the heating is on'

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    160

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    I like that berlingo, I'll have a look at the timer thing

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    If at all possible, do not do all inclusive bills.

    I have one experience only - and in short, when bills are all inclusive, people have absolutely no respect and take the mickey!

    The key to successful and virtually trouble-free renting, is to know who you are putting into your home.
    This is true regardless of the type of tenancy you are operating and has been true for eons.

    I have operated a HMO for over 25 years, with limited trouble during that time (during the first 7 years), from 2 people, out of 75. I never lost money in the end and each person taught me something.

    In answer to the OPs question, the only way to judge how much to set the rent to include the cost of utilities, is to know what usage has occurred over a long period of time. This unfortunately cannot be known unless you have had a home for several years (say 5 minimum), with a variety of people and with different weathers.
    I would then add an additional margin of 10-15%, to cover for unexpected rises in energy costs and extra usage due to harsh winters and changes in tenant lifestyles (more cooking at home, staying at home longer or if they become unemployed, sick, etc).
    You should also set and monitor the on and off times of the heating in case your tenants don't know how to do this or don't want to bother.

    But I can share with you all that in all the time I have rented my home, the usage of energy has remained remarkably consistent. This does not surprise me and should not surprise anyone else, since people have very similar needs.
    If you are new to inclusive rents, perhaps try to find what other landlords charge in your area, directly from other landlords of similar homes (including checking their ads) or through letting agents. You can also pro-rata what you find if info on 4 bed/2 bath homes is thin on the ground.

    The idea that when you get rid of limits, then "all hell will break loose" is not borne out by the facts.
    Many of you will remember the furore about ending pub licensing laws, with fears that there would be "widespread drunkenness left right and centre", never coming to fruition.
    The same goes for people's behavior when it comes to other things. Unless a tenant has a grudge against a landlord, he/she is not likely to behave in a manner to excessively use energy, just for the hell of it because they can.
    This view of tenants is one of the reasons for the poor underlying relations between landlords and tenants, even before the two have even met. And I would suggest someone who thinks that way is more likely to attract that behavior, unwittingly.

    If a tenant behaves in this manner, then a landlord has much more than an energy problem with that person or group of people and which goes back to my first point and to the careful assessment of anyone that you let into your home.

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