Using Energy Performance Certificates to attract tenants

Many landlords have an issue with getting the right type of tenants.  Quite naturally, Landlords want tenants who will pay on time, take good care of the property, and keep open lines of communication with both the letting agent and the landlord.

These tenants also tend to be the ones who stay in a house for longer.  In short, Landlords prefer tenants who both think in the longer term but who also care about others. At some point most landlords have found that compromising slightly on rent to get a better client can save more money than holding out to get the highest possible rent no matter who the tenant is.

As a company who provide landlord insurance, we have a good idea of the difference between a professional landlord who takes a long term view and the sort of ‘accidental landlord’ who typically goes for the maximum short term profit whilst not screening their tenants or not taking out the correct precautions.

However, although it is cheaper to screen tenants and even to attract the best through small discounts, it is even cheaper to pre-qualify them through your marketing and packaging of your rental property – this is where EPCs can play a role.

The sort of client who cares about the energy efficiency of a home is the sort of tenant that most landlords will want to attract – while it may show the tenant has green credentials, it can also show that the tenant is considering their long term financial situation by gauging how expensive the bills may be. So, if a house has a good (or even average) EPC rating, we think that the landlord should sell this to the potential tenants – when the house is being advertised.

We have heard more and more reports of tenants asking for the Energy Performance Certificate rating before renting a home.  With increased awareness of Energy Performance Certificates no longer over shadowed by Home Information Packs, we believe this will only grow.  This is very sensible as this has a big effect on their total costs – especially if they are planning to stay in the house for a long time.

A prospective tenant who asks about the energy efficiency of a home is the sort of tenant who is planning for a long term stay.  They are also the sort of tenant who is prepared to take responsibility for their tenancy and to think of the place as their home rather than as an extended hotel room.

Some less experienced landlords complain about tenants not treating the property with respect – but wiser landlords simply look out for those tenants who will treat the property with respect.

Energy Performance Certificates will be available to landlords who have recently bought a property.  If the property was bought a long time ago then a new EPC must be commissioned.  If a landlord has renovated their property, particularly if there has been work done to increase the insulation, improve the heating system or other related parameters in the EPC, then a landlord can get the full benefit of these improvements reflected by commissioning a new Energy Performance Certificate.

Using an EPC rating in a property advertisement, can help attract the type of responsible long term tenant that every experienced landlord knows is important for a stress free profitable business.

Written by Alex Matthews

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