Private landlords should ensure they take advantage of all tax breaks and grants available to them, a specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender has said.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, was referring specifically to the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) when he issued the advice.

LESA is a tax break available to landlords who are prepared to install insulation and draft proofing in order to cut energy usage and bills in their properties.

Undertaking such work is likely to result in a better rating on a home's energy performance certificate (EPC), which Mr Heron suggested could be the difference between being able to find tenants and seeing a property left unoccupied.

He urged all private landlords to consider making energy-saving improvements to their properties and to do it in the most cost-effective way.

"They should take full advantage of the tax breaks available to them. In the current environment, any cost saving is important,"said Mr Heron.

His recommendation comes at a time when landlords are having to deal with competition from owner-occupiers who are choosing to let their homes because they are having difficulty selling for the price they want.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19019995-ADNFCR

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