Landlords have been reminded that poorly-insulated rented properties leave millions of tenants struggling to pay their rent.

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action says private renters often face higher energy costs as they tend to live in the least efficient homes. “It’s therefore no wonder that 65% say they worry they may struggle to pay their energy bills,” says director of policy and advocacy, Peter Smith.

“Landlords have a big role to play in helping to make the impact of higher prices more affordable and therefore increasing the chances their tenants can make the rent.”

Smart Energy GB research found that almost two-thirds of UK renters are worried about paying their energy bills this winter and 80% reckon landlords could do more to make their homes more energy efficient.

Smart meter

It says 28% don’t feel their landlord supports them enough when it comes to managing their energy use, while 67% believe that having a smart meter would help them manage their energy costs.

Some renters have been put off doing this as, not only did they think their landlord wouldn’t like it (16%), they were also concerned they might lose their deposit (14%).

Iagan MacNeil

Iagan MacNeil, head of policy at Smart Energy GB (pictured), adds: “It is a bill payer’s right to have a smart meter, so we hope that landlords responsible for the energy bill will consider installing a smart meter or work with their tenants to get them installed in their rental properties.”

Smart Energy GB and Propertycheckists.co.uk have come up with five tips for landlords to support their tenants: get a smart meter, check what eco features the property has already, use LED lighting, fit thermostats on radiators and if renovating or upgrading a property, fit insulation.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Every property has to have an EPC so there is no excuse for not knowing whether the rental is energy efficient or not. And as to ‘supporting tenants in managing their energy use’ – we are landlords not surrogate parents!

  2. Completely agree! Tenants DECIDE for themselves where they want to live and as a result it is up to them to look at all the info on which to base their decision. It’s not as if they have to look very far the LL has to legally provide this to be able to rent a property in the first place!

  3. What a non-story. I agree with Tricia and BB. Tenants can make their own decisions. I don’t recollect or even understand how installing a smart meter costs anybody anything. It does save the energy supplier money – perhaps they could even look at a financial incentive to install one? We have gone as far as to change storage heaters following a request from tenants so they could keep heating costs down, but what more? We answer questions about EPCs and energy costs. We remind them that leaving the heating on 24/7 when they are only there 12/6 is a waste of money. Some don’t even seem to make the connection between their use of energy and the bill – and we are not here to instil common sense and explain the bleeding obvious.

  4. I have a very efficient insulated property with new gas boiler and all LED lighting (7 * 6 watts = 42 watts to light every room in the house) and my new tenant was struggling with the utility usage. On inspecting the property last week seeing the utility usage is double last year the tenant uses 60 watt floor standing and table lamps in each room and electric conversation heaters to heat the rooms in the two bed house they use. Making no use of the efficiency initiatives like TRVs in the property! I explained how some changes would help and they said they preferred the 60 watt lamps as they are not as bright…

  5. The people making these reports have no hands on experience of the PRS instead they are demanding that the landlord takes on the role of unpaid social worker now whilst being constantly browbeaten that he is an ogre and must not under any circumstances receive any payment and basically provide free accommodation.

    Would I let my property again with the ever growing bureaucracy and abuse? Not a chance.

  6. Yet more press where for some reason landlords are deemed to be responsible for ever increasing aspects of the tenants life. It’s not our job to be their carer or social worker or Dad , and the continual assumption in the press that tenants are helpless imbeciles is insulting and wrong

  7. Nowadays people seem to think that in the winter they should heat their houses to a temperature that allows them to wander around in a t-shirt, as they do in summer. Try wearing winter clothes i.e. thermal layers, thick trousers, jumpers etc. Maybe this will reduce their fuel bills. I set my thermostat at 17 degrees C and am toasty warm as I wear the right clothes, and my fuel bill is very manageable.

  8. I’m helping tenants year by year to own their own home and manage their finances by selling out of this can of worms. Would be interested to know how many of the little darlings keep up with the gas safeties and electrical tests and how many change the batteries in the smoke detectors as most of mine removed them for the TV remote controls.

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