September is not the usual time of year we associate with the landlord’s nightmare that are high energy bills. However, from proper ventilation to fridge care, there are always a few things that can be done around any property to keep it in optimum shape and save money. You might think that these kind of tips might bore your tenant to death at best, or be flat out ignored at worst, but you'd be surprised how much of a motivation money saving is for many people!
Consider purchasing an energy efficient fridge for any furnished property; they aren’t too hard to find nowadays, and although more expensive, they will pay for themselves through savings in the long run. Also consider its positioning - avoid bright, sunlit areas and leave some space between the back of the fridge and any wall to give the coils enough space to function. Also check the door sealant every few months, as this is often the first part of the unit to wear out, and can leave fridges using twice as much energy as normal. Ask your tenants to ensure that their fridge is always running at the correct temperature, which is usually between 3-5º for a fridge and -17º for a freezer.
Encourage your tenants to take cooler showers, which uses less energy on heating. Also, consider installing a washing line if the property has outside space. This means tenants won’t have to use tumble dryers or radiators to dry their clothes, both of which burn through a lot of energy. Drying clothes inside can also lead to mould if done regularly, so outside drying should always be the preferred option - if possible.
Let’s be realistic - the UK isn’t a particularly warm country, even in the height of summer, so air conditioning is an expensive luxury that you should ask your tenants not to use. Instead, recommend keeping doors and windows open. This also helps prevent mould forming as a result of steam produced during cooking, as the hot water vapour can easily escape instead of condensing on the ceiling or walls, where it could later cause damp.
Turn off the heating during the warmer months! This might seem obvious, but some tenants genuinely forget or just don’t understand how the boiler works, so making sure that all of this is explained to prospective tenants before they take up the lease should be a top priority. Make sure you either adjust the boiler’s settings yourself, or remind your tenants to do so, as we head into the summer months, to ensure no money is being wasted on overheating.
Simply follow these few tips (or get your tenants to do so) to help you, and them, save money this summer!