A working heating system is one of the main requirements for landlords when they want to let their property out. With the recent announcement of government energy plans, the properties have to be not only regularly maintained but as well energy-efficient. This can put landlords in a difficult situation. How to choose a heating system that is efficient, desired by tenants and potentially will pay off itself in a long run?

That is why this time Fantastic team prepared a blog post that will help you identify the best heating system for your rental property. 

Table of Contents:

So, if you:

  • Are planning to install a heating system for your new rental property;
  • Don’t know which heating system is the best to fit;
  • Are thinking of changing the heating system but don’t know what to pay attention to.

Then you are on the right page. Keep on reading!

Landlord heating obligations

There are general obligations and duties that landlords should follow. Along with providing a maintained property and securing a deposit, landlords should also know their obligations related to the space heating. In the UK, those obligations include :

  • Providing access to functioning sources of heat and hot water (see Landlord and Tenant Act);
  • Providing heating at any times in every occupied room of the property. Any place that is designed as a bedroom should be heated at minimum 18℃, and at 21℃ for living rooms – if the temperature outside is -1℃;
  • Reacting to the occurring heating problems within a few days after the tenants’ notification;
  • Bleeding the radiators at the start of the tenancy agreement. Further, it’s the tenants’ responsibility;
  • Being responsible for major repairs of the appliances, unless the damage was caused by tenants’ negligence.

If you do not respond to tenants’ requests within two times, they have a right to contact the Environmental Health Department. If that happens, the department can authorise repairs and serve you a bill.

New electricity regulations

From June 2020, new regulations came into force. To improve the safety and security of housing in all private rented sector, the following regulations have been implemented:

  • From July 2020, the landlords are obliged to perform an electrical safety check before the start of a new tenancy. If you have an existing tenancy agreement, you have to perform the check before April 1, 2021
  • The electrical inspection has to be carried out at least every 5 years by a certified electrician;
  • Landlords should supply tenants with a copy of the report within 28 days, or if it is a new tenancy before the tenants occupy your property;
  • Providing local authorities with a copy of the report within 7 days;
  • If a check identifies any defects that require immediate solution, the repair work should be carried out within 28 days;
  • When the remedial work is completed, you have to provide the tenant and the local authorities with the written confirmation from the electrician who performed the repair within 28 days.

Besides that, the government published an energy efficiency proposal for the private rental sector, which states that the energy performance standard of privately-rented properties will be raised. The landlords have to ensure that their properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level of C. These changes will be coming into power slowly, allowing landlords to make necessary improvements by 1 April 2025 for new tenancies and by 1 April 2028 for all tenancies.

As a property owner, you can apply for a Green Home Grant voucher to receive certain benefits for installing energy-efficient improvements for your property.

Energy Performance Certificate is one of the most important reports that you have to present to your tenants. Find out how Fantastic Services perform an EPC assessment.

Find out here

Gas vs. electric heating

Traditionally, landlords decide to install a classic gas boiler. Around 8 million boilers are sold in the UK every year. Tenants are familiar with operating the system, and gas heating is cost-efficient for them. However, electric heating is starting to win the attention of British homeowners. The reason lies in the more energy-efficient and economical models that the electric solutions offer. 

Besides, tenants are becoming more aware of the energy waste elimination matters. This can create pressure for landlords into following contemporary heating requirements and upgrading their properties with more sustainable electric heating systems. So what is better for you? Gas or electric heating

Gas heating

The gas central heating system includes a gas-fired boiler, that heats the water and spreads it through radiators. Here is what you need to know about it: 

  • Maintenance. If gas central heating is preferred by tenants because of the low costs, for landlords the maintenance of the system can be a bit pricey. If your property has gas installations, as a landlord, you are obliged to conduct an annual Gas Safety Check to ensure that the installation is safe to use and won’t leak any moment; 
  • Efficiency. Gas might be a cheap fuel; however, it is not entirely efficient. Because most of the time gas systems have only one thermostat, you are more likely to raise the temperature in the whole property if you want to make only one room warmer. This can create a dispute between you and your tenants. You can always upgrade the installation with a smart thermostat, but it will add up to the price; 
  • Installation. If your property doesn’t have gas pipes, be ready to pay for their installation. Except for the pipes, the system requires the installation of radiators, vents and a boiler. On average, the installation cost varies between £2500 and £4500, depending on the size of the property.

Electric heating

Electric heating is often associated with the Economy 7 night storage heaters, convection heaters or boilers. Storage heaters are designed to store the heat during the cheapest electric tariff period and give it out during the rest of the day. If your tenants spend their days outside, storage heaters might not be very convenient for them. Convection heaters are as well not preferred by tenants, because they generate high electricity costs.

Electric boilers are perfect options for those who have restricted access to the gas grid. It requires an installation of the boiler itself, a water tank (depends on a model) and radiators. 

Electric radiators, on the opposite, heat the entire house without any additional installations. All you need to have is working power sockets next to the radiators.

  • Maintenance. If you provide your tenants with electric heating, you have to ensure that the electrical installations have been inspected by a certified electrician before the tenancy begins. If any incidents or breakages occur, the landlord is responsible for the repair (depending on circumstances);
  • Efficiency. Because electrical systems do not use fuel, they simply don’t waste energy on burning it. This makes them more energy-efficient. In comparison to a gas boiler that has an efficiency rate of 89-95%, electric heating systems have the efficiency rate closer to 99%. Moreover, modern models have control systems that allow you to individually control each radiator separately, which results in more efficient electricity consumption;
  • Installation. Electric heating is cheaper for the landlords to install in comparison with gas heating. If you are considering installing a boiler, then installation of radiators and pipes is necessary. Electric radiators, on the other hand, do not require pipes or any other additional structures, except for the units themselves. If there is no hardwiring required, the installation can be done without a qualified electrician. 

Thinking to install a brand new heating system? 

Proper installation is as important as a new high-efficiency heating system. Fantastic Services works only with experienced specialists, ensuring you a professional boiler and radiator installation. Just tell us if you need a new boiler installation or replacement, and we will be ready to help you! Fill in the boiler installation survey now!

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Takeaways

  • Landlords are responsible for providing heating and hot water supply for tenants;
  • The repairs of the appliances are landlords’ responsibility;
  • The electrical safety check should be performed before new tenants move into your property and renewed at least every 5 years;
  • Gas safety check should be carried out every year;
  • Gas central heating implies the installation of a gas-fired boiler, radiators and vents;
  • Electric boiler system requires the installation of a boiler, pipings and radiators;
  • The installation of an electric boiler is cheaper than of a gas boiler;
  • Single electric radiators don’t need special electrical skills for installation.

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We hope that this information was useful for you! If you have any questions or would like to share your interesting experiences, leave it in the comments section. 

Image source: Shutterstock / Kishivan

  • Last update: October 13, 2020

Posted in Home Improvement

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