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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    Walking from the railway station to an appointment I passed some 200 terraced/semi-detached dwellings of which 5 appeared to have received any attention ie. window /glazing/door replacement. On enquiring I was told it was nearly all rented ,probably from a single landlord. An aquaintance of mine owns huge numbers of properties in the southeast and when quizzed about upgrading them to make them more energy efficient intimated that as he would not be paying the fuel bills it was of no interest to him. If the local authority got involved he would find a way of getting every grant available and the rent would go up accordingly. I don't know the % of rented property over the whole country ; but I think we could have a problem !?
      CommentAuthorKeith Hall
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2007
    Good points brian. perhaps landlords need to be bound by some sort of byelaw or building regulation to encourage them to keep up to a certain standard. perhaps the CSH for existing properties when it is introduced will address this.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2007
    Something for sure needs to be done.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2007
    This is the typical landlord-tenant scenario it happens in commercial buildings too.

    There are tax breaks for landlords to encourage them to carry out these improvements.
    Ultimately all rental properties will require an energy rating and the poorly insulated ones will achieve a poor rating and this will impact on their rents.

    Hopefully this will be the starting point for change.
    • CommentAuthorJulian
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2007
    There is a desperate need to find a way of compelling (some) landlords to be more responsible. The flat we're renting is almost entirely single glazed, has gaping cracks around and beneath the two doors and a complete set of night storage heaters. It could easily be improved and the landlord has five other flats in the block all paying around £500 per month. Some small part of that would do a lot of good if spent on insulation and secondary glazing. We bought some draught strip ourselves to improve things slightly.
      CommentAuthorKeith Hall
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2007 edited
    Apparently there is an EU directive which will soon force Registered Landlords to produce a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) or energy certificates for domestic properties (EPBD) for any homes they plan to let or sell (at change in tennancy). It seems set to come into force in 2009.
    Take a look at:
    http://www.esd.co.uk/has/cfs.html" >Energy for Sustainable Development
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2007
    Found this today
    "The government’s LESA scheme (Landlords Energy Savings
    Allocation) introduced in the 2004 Budget provides up to £1,500 tax
    relief on a range of energy efficiency improvements made to rental
    properties. Although the 2005/6 budget projected £10 million
    expenditure on LESA, take-up so far appears to be extremely low,
    representing a potential tax savings opportunity for London’s landlords."
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2007
    As a landlord myself perhaps I can put the case from the property owner's point of view.

    Tenant's put a value on double glazing and gas central heating which is reflected in the rent so all my properties have it - no grants would have been required for this but I applied for and got some anyway in certain cases. There are some grants for better loft insulation and draft proofing when your tenant is on benefit. I have always encouraged my tenants to apply for these and so all my properties have 300mm loft insulation. The majority of landlords will have done likewise but you you only ever hear about the ones who haven't.

    Going any further than this on old housing stock is expensive and what would I get out of it? The rent won't go up. Tenant's won't care one way or the other and the capital value will not increase. So what if I can get a tax break, I've still got to fund 78% of the cost as a basic rate tax payer - this is just a gimick to make the Chancellor look like he is doing something.

    I would be in favour of regulations to force improvements in energy efficient in the existing housing stock but only if they are universally applied to all housholders not just landlords. The atmosphere does not care whether the CO2 comes from tenant's boiler or a homeowner's boiler after all does it?

    however, this kind of policy, while perhaps necessary, will inevitably decrease the supply of housing in the private rented sector by forcing up costs and time spent on compliance. I am already selling off a large part of my portfolio in the expectation of housing market crash. Estate agents I know are telling me the only investment buyers at the moments are the inexperienced first time investors who are buying into yields of 5 or 6%. I can get that in the bank and it is a lot less hassle believe me.
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2007

    Soon all your housing will need an energy performance certificate and then you will find that the poorer housing stock will be less attractive to tenants.
    • CommentAuthorlbridson
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2007
    There are advantages to landlords of having energy efficient properties. Namely;
    - it can cut down on maintenance costs by reducing mildew or dampness
    - insulations can increase tenancy periods reducing times when properties are vacant.

    There are research papers to back up the lower tenancy turnovers, but sorry, can't find a link to them. Educating landlords of the benefits to them of improving a rentals energy efficiency may go some way to increasing the standard of rentals.
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