Students and sustainable accommodation

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Recent research from accommodationforstudents.com shows that students are increasingly looking for more sustainable accommodation.

In fact, sustainability and the environment are important factors when making purchasing decisions generally. Students weigh sustainability 7.6 (out of 10) for importance when making a purchase, with a highly motivated 25% of respondents scoring it 10. At the other end of the scale just 8% of students are not making any effort to live more sustainable lives.

Accommodation choices

Students give slightly less priority to sustainability considerations when selecting accommodation (7.1 from 10). However, over half scored 8 or more and the majority of students would like to live with other students who take the issue seriously – they like the idea of environmentally friendly housemates. Longer term, 83% told us they anticipated environmental factors becoming more important.

Price, location and bills

Of those that did not consider sustainability to be relevant when choosing accommodation, the majority indicated this was because they considered price and location to be much more important factors.

In addition, 27% simply did not know which factors to take into consideration. A good illustration of this knowledge gap is that 25% did not know what an EPC certificate was and 34% did not know if the energy they used was from renewable sources.

Understanding energy sources and usage is particularly key, given the rise in importance of bills inclusive rents in student accommodation.

Is the lack of a monthly bill a problem?

While a bills inclusive offering is important to attract students, it could come at a cost to the environment. The lack of a monthly bill may encourage tenants to leave the heating on for longer than necessary, which has an impact on both the environment and costs. There is a clear advantage here to encouraging more sustainable behaviour, as it benefits both the pocket and the environment.

88% would choose sustainable accommodation

Our research shows that the vast majority would opt for the more sustainable option if all other factors were equal. In fact, 38% would actually be prepared to pay more and only 30% would definitely not.

66% of students felt that landlords had an important role to play, with 95% of the opinion that it would be a good idea for landlords, letting agents and other property managers to provide advice on how to reduce their environmental impact in student accommodation.

Making a difference

There does seem to be a clear convergence of trends, with students more interested in sustainability, while at the same time looking to landlords for advice. There is also an environmental and commercial ‘pay-off’ for landlords. It is certainly a trend accommodationforstudents.com (AFS) will continue to track and seek to address. In addition to planting a tree for every property advertised, AFS have launched a campaign that can be used by landlords to encourage more sustainable behaviour from their student tenants. This will be just the start of a long term strategy to address this important trend.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – Students and sustainable accommodation | LandlordZONE.

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Tenancy Agreements – Agents v Landlords?

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For the majority of my properties I use my own Tenancy Agreement (TA), established over time with updates as and when (mostly when issues have occurred with a previous tenant and to stop the potential for similar things happening again).

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How can iHeat make boiler replacement easier for landlords?

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We understand that a landlord’s job is important. As well as the day-to-day tasks, you must ensure your properties are safe and comfortable for you tenants and that their appliances are working safely and properly, including the boiler. 

While boilers are often almost invisible to tenants, they’re one of the most important pieces of equipment in the home, keeping your tenants warm and comfortable. As a landlord, you’re legally responsible for ensuring your tenant’s boiler is working properly, which means you must arrange and cover the cost of any boiler repairs or replacements, a process which can be stressful and costly.

Fortunately, at iHeat, we have the solution for you to make replacing a boiler simpler and more affordable.

How can iHeat make boiler replacement easier?

No Need for a Home Survey Visit

Perhaps one of the most stressful parts about arranging a boiler replacement for your property is arranging to have an engineer come out and conduct a survey to get a quote. This is especially true if your tenants like to be difficult.

Fortunately, with iHeat, you can get a free, fixed boiler quote online in less than a minute by answering a few simple questions about your property and choosing from our wide range of boilers. In fact, you can order a new boiler with us from anywhere in the world, so if your tenant’s boiler breaks down whilst you’re away on holiday or out of the country, there’s no need to panic.

This also means there’s no need to arrange an engineer callout as you can upload images of your property online, saving you plenty of time and money.

Fast turnaround 

As a landlord, you must carry out repairs within a ‘reasonable time’, under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act. If deemed an emergency, you must aim to get it fixed within 24 hours. Thankfully, with iHeat, you can have a boiler installed and as soon as 24 hours after ordering, delivering an incredibly fast turnaround and keeping your tenant happy. 

Incredible warranties

With iHeat, you can get a fantastic ten year warranty on parts and labour with a new boiler, ensuring you are protected for a long time, allowing you and your tenants to rest easy. We’ll even automatically register your warranty too, so you don’t have to move a muscle.

Annual service reminders

Landlords are also legally required to arrange annual boiler services to make sure the heating system is working safely. Not to mention, most insurance policies and warranties become invalid if you fail to arrange an annual service by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

That’s why iHeat will send you an annual reminder closer to the time, allowing you to book in with one of our Gas Safe engineers. 

We’re here to help

If you ever have any questions or are experiencing any issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team by giving us a call or messaging us via live chat and our expert engineers will be happy to help. 

You can get in touch with us between 8am and 7pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm on a Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

We work with tenants

Are you tired of your tenants calling you up every time they experience a slight issue with their boiler? Send them on over to us! We’re more than happy to get into direct contact with tenants and answer any questions they may have, giving them a personal point of contact instead of directing all of their questions to you.

We can also request the relevant images from your tenants by forwarding the link, saving you the job of constantly chasing them up.

Fixed prices

With iHeat, the price you see is the price you pay, so long as you have provided the correct information. The quote includes the cost of everything including:

The boiler

  • Installation
  • Pipeworks,
  • Flue kit
  • Wireless Controls
  • Chemical flush
  • Disposal of old boiler
  • We’ll even upgrade your gas pipe for free if it’s needed

Get a free, fixed quote on a brand new A-rated efficient boiler today and check out our fantastic range of Viessmann, Worcester Bosch, Ideal and Alpha boilers.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – How can iHeat make boiler replacement easier for landlords? | LandlordZONE.

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EPCs: Council in spotlight over ‘one rule landlords, another for its own properties’

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A local council that introduced fines to catch out negligent private landlords renting sub-standard homes has been hauled up for doing the same thing.

Legislation adopted by South Derbyshire District Council in 2019 means its landlords can be fined up to £5,000 per property if they rent energy inefficient homes rated below E.

However, a sample survey of 700 council homes in South Derbyshire, carried out by Nottingham City Council, found two homes rated F. Derbyshire Live reports that if this was replicated throughout all 3,000 of the council’s homes, it could total 12 homes which landlords would not be allowed to rent.

The research also found a third of homes were rated below C and needed a wide range of upgrades.

Three of the homes assessed had no insulation. +The finding is another example of a council being quick to penalise transgressions while not always practicing what it preaches; earlier this year, Croydon Council was rumbled for allowing appalling housing conditions endured by council tenants in South Norwood go unrepaired for four years.

Domestic properties

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 only relate to domestic private rented properties, which means councils like Derbyshire can continue renting council homes which are extremely energy inefficient and would land a private landlord with a fine, unless they had a valid exemption.

Paul Whittingham, the council’s head of housing, told councillors at a recent meeting that all the homes in question were already fitted with double glazing and top-grade boilers.

He said the houses might need fully replacing to give them the drastic energy efficiency improvements required. “They are at the end of their life, so for some this is a replacement programme,” added Whittingham.

The district council says the average cost per property to get them to an energy efficiency rating of C is £15,000.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – EPCs: Council in spotlight over ‘one rule landlords, another for its own properties’ | LandlordZONE.

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#CPC21: Shelter softens its rhetoric on private landlords

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Shelter has struck a more conciliatory tone towards private landlords, saying it recognises that many have ‘bent over backwards’ to help their tenants during the pandemic.

The comments were made by its Chief Executive Polly Neate (main pic) at a fringe meeting of the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

Speaking alongside housing minister Eddie Hughes, she said her organisation did not want to ‘demonise’ private landlords and it recognised they play an important role in providing accommodation within the much-expanded private rental sector.

This is a significant shift in tone compared to its most recent media campaign, which launched a broadside against landlords and letting agents, using research among 3,500 private renters to accuse both groups of illegal behaviour.

But at the meeting Neate was keen to emphasise that, although Shelter wanted to squeeze out rogue landlords, she also wanted to see good landlords incentivised to stay.

Power balance

Nevertheless, Neate caused a stir by suggesting landlords held the balance of power within tenancies.

This led several of the audience to disagree, highlighting how many landlords now feel tenants have been given too many rights to the point where rogue tenants can game the system, and that plans to change evictions law would only make this worse.

But Neate reminded those attending that the private rented sector has changed enormously over the past 20 years and that many more vulnerable renters who used to live within social housing now rent privately.

“Traditionally renters were those on the cusp of home ownership, but now too many on the cusp of homelessness and we need to protect them,” she said.

Watch the meeting.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – #CPC21: Shelter softens its rhetoric on private landlords | LandlordZONE.

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LATEST: Minister reveals more about Rent Reform proposals

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Housing minister Eddie Hughes (pictured, 2nd from right) has given the strongest indication to date which of the government’s proposed rent reform policies are to be included within its much-expected White Paper.

The Walsall North MP told a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference in Manchester that both a landlord register and a lifetime rental deposit scheme in England were set to go ahead.

Landlords may have some breathing space before they do – Hughes said his officials were still ‘half way’ through the policy formation process, indicating that the White Paper is unlikely to be published until the New Year.

The minister also said he was keen that the new measures would ‘not have unintended consequences’ for either landlords or tenants and that therefore his department was proceeding carefully.

The housing ministry has form on this front – for example its Tenant Fees Act has made it harder, not easier, for tenants with pets to rent homes – many MPs, Lords and pet campaigners have argued.

Landlord register

Hughes said a landlord register would only pull together information already available from different sources, and that similar schemes in both Scotland and Wales had already been successfully implemented without driving out landlords from the private rented sector.

Other speakers at the event including Grimsby MP Lia Nici (pictured, far right) also said that it was time English councils were able to understand who the landlords are within their boundaries, and which properties they rent out.

Hughes also revealed that the proposed lifetime deposit scheme, which would enable tenants to ‘passport’ their deposits from tenancy to tenancy would not expose landlords to extra financial risk and cost, as many have feared.

Hughes said his department had experts looking at how it would work best, but that it would most likely be an insurance-backed scheme. LandlordZONE understands this is likely to be similar in form to the ‘alternative deposit’ schemes available within the rental sector.

The meeting, which was organised by centre-right thinktank Onward and sponsored by Shelter, also discussed the government’s plans to abolish ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions, during which the minister gave assurances that the new system would offer tenants security from retaliatory or unnecessary evictions but also enable landlords to repossess properties for good reasons – such as to sell up or move back in.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – LATEST: Minister reveals more about Rent Reform proposals | LandlordZONE.

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Unless 3 x the deposit is more than the small claims limit the Part 36 offer is a bluff

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Landlords who fail to protect tenancy deposits and to serve Prescribed Information Forms correctly may be liable for a penalty. The minimum that can be ordered for each breach is one times the amount of the deposit and the maximum is three times.

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LATEST: Fix the rental market or face a landlord exodus, trade body warns Chancellor

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National letting agent trade body Propertymark has told the Chancellor that unless the private rented sector is overhauled a significant number of landlords will quit the sector.

The organisation says within its submission to the Sunak’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review that the rental market is already facing a ‘cliff edge’ as the private rented sector struggles to keep up with demand, but that rent arrear and a crumbling court system are making the situation worse.

Such an exodus of landlords would be catastrophic for the housing system, including the many people who rely on the private rented sector to meet their housing needs.

Research completed recently by broker The Mortgage Works found that 20% of landlords are likely to sell property in the next 12 months.

Tax implications

Propertymark says this is down to a combination of moving goal posts, tax implications, tenant debt and a backlog in the courts as reasons many smaller portfolio landlords are being left with few options.

The trade body says the effect on landlords has been compounded over the pandemic and official government figures show the proportion of private renters in arrears has tripled during the pandemic, from 3% between April 2019 and March 2020 to 9% during November and December 2020.

It warns that if the upward trend in this data continues the number of renters in arears could reach almost 800,000 by the end of 2021.

Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Advisor for Propertymark says: “We are urging the UK Government to look at the bigger picture here.

“It’s not about propping up landlords but more about doing the right thing for the country as we work to build back better from the devastating effects of the pandemic.”

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – LATEST: Fix the rental market or face a landlord exodus, trade body warns Chancellor | LandlordZONE.

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