With tenants now being given an EPC when they rent a new home, landlords need to start considering the energy efficiency of their rental property. Though it’s probably not yet at the top of a tenant’s shopping list, faced with two equally nice properties, energy efficiency can clinch you the deal. Heating your home isn’t getting cheaper, more and more people are concerned with their carbon footprint, so let’s face it: if you’re renting in an area where people can afford to have those sorts of concerns, you as a business person need to share them.

Fortunately, the government offers you a small incentive to improve the energy efficiency of rental property too. No one’s going to get rich claiming the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), it is a useful tax allowance available to landlords who are undertaking property improvements. That’s right: it’s a little tax break for landlords who have taken steps to improve the energy efficiency of property they’re letting. Think lagging, insulation and draught-proofing.

The allowance is worth up to £1500 and you can claim if you’ve spent money on cavity or solid wall insulation, insulating the floor or hot water system, lagging the roof or draught proofing the property. You’ll find full details on the government’s website.

You’re eligible if you’re an individual landlord paying income tax on earnings from a let. You can also claim as a landlord with a registered company paying corporation tax on lettings profits. Unfortunately, you won’t benefit if you’re operating as part of the “Rent a Room”scheme or renting a holiday home.

You can get your hands on the LESA when you submit your tax return, so you’ll probably want to have a chat with your accountant if you’re thinking about using it. But get on with LESA;the allowance expires on 1 April 2015.

If Britain is serious about moving towards a low-carbon economy (as the government keeps saying we must be) then incentives like this are useful. They need to do more: raise the limit, because £1500 doesn’t go that far. Many more landlords might be interested if they could claim a bigger chunk off tax for real efforts on improving energy efficiency and think of the carbon emissions we’d all save.

 

Related posts:

  1. Energy-efficient products ‘save billions’
  2. Energy efficient homes ‘more attractive to tenants’
  3. Energy-efficient landlords ‘more appealing to tenants’
  4. Landlords ‘shouldn’t let energy inefficient property’
  5. Landlords urged to take advantage of grants

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