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Tenants facing rent rises call for 'lower energy bills in return'

energy efficiency nat west

Most renters expecting a rent increase this year believe their landlords should make energy efficiency improvements to help offset the rise.

NatWest’s Greener Homes Attitude Tracker found that of the 63% who expected their landlords to raise rents, three-quarters agreed they should make more sustainable home improvements.

Its data for the three months to September shows that rental properties are typically less well insulated than owner-occupied homes (42% versus 58%).

Unaffordable

Head of mortgages Lloyd Cochrane (pictured) says rises in rent and energy bills are becoming unaffordable for many, and renters are demanding action.

But he acknowledges that the biggest barrier to making energy efficiency improvements is the cost of the work required – with 67% of those deterred by this explaining that the upfront cost was simply too expensive, and 37% who said that the pay-back time on energy efficiency improvements was too long.

Adds Cochrane: “Financial support could help overcome both these blockers, and it’s critical that banks, like us at NatWest, continue to support consumers.”

Loans

NatWest admits that a majority of consumers (55%) who are put off by the cost of improvements understandably do not want to take out loans to fund this work.

A property’s energy efficiency continues to rank as a low priority among prospective homebuyers, paling in comparison to cost and location.

The bank reports that 39% of prospective homebuyers looking to buy a property in the next 10 years believe a property’s EPC rating was a very important factor, down from 41% a year ago.

Meanwhile, one in five homeowners plan to make improvements to the environmental sustainability of their property in the next year – the lowest level since 2021.

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