Three things landlords offering ‘bills included’ tenancies should know Three things landlords offering ‘bills included’ tenancies should know

Three things landlords offering ‘bills included’ tenancies should know

As the cost-of-living spikes, landlords and tenants involved in ‘bills included’ rental contracts will need to communicate clearly with one another in order to grapple with the new host of challenges.

No. 2075 from our magazine|2 min read| Published in Magazine on 1 November 2022 by our Marketing Team

As for landlords offering bills included in their monthly rental fees, there are three key things to consider…
 
Landlords should avoid confusion on government’s £400 rebate
 
The former Chancellor recently announced that households across the UK can expect a £400 grant this autumn to help out with soaring energy bills. There is also further assistance available for the most vulnerable. But when it comes to rental properties, the tenants will need to be aware that the £400 rebate will go directly to the bill payer, which will be the landlord in instances where the cost of utilities is included in their monthly rental fee.
 
Most landlords will retain the payment to help alleviate the growing costs of the energy and water bills that they are paying on behalf of their tenants. In the case that tenants have misunderstood the government’s helpful scheme, they might expect that the rebate is to be paid to them, even if they don’t pay utility bills directly. Agents and landlords can avoid this by communicating their plans and the reasoning behind them well in advance to ensure tenants don’t feel as though they have been left in the dark on the situation, and the next steps are clear.
 
Landlords may need to be clear about costs
 
As announced by The National Trading Standards (NTS) during May 2022, there are new changes to the rules around the material information that letting and estate agents should include in listings through property portals and their own sites. This means that tenants must be provided clarity on their "unavoidable costs" of renting the property. This includes council tax bands, deposits, and the price of rent. As the new rules are expanded, the regulations will soon cover additional areas such as utility set-ups or information detailing flood risk status.
In light of this, landlords offering ‘bills included’ tenancies will need to be upfront about costs and any variations in prices that may occur during the contract. All of this information will need to be communicated to the tenant explicitly and upfront by the agents, rather than on request.
 
Now might be the perfect time to invest in energy efficiency 
 
New Government legislation entails that by 2025, private sector landlords will have to ensure that their rental properties adhere to the required energy efficiency rating of ‘C’ or above on new tenancies. The UK is also set to ban gas boilers in all new build properties, starting from the same year. Due to this, landlords will need to boost the energy efficiency of their portfolios as soon as possible in order to keep up with changing legislation.
 
Arguably, with the lettings market retaining unparalleled buoyancy, and demand for rental properties reaching record highs, now is the best time to invest in existing stock ahead of the regulatory changes. Likewise, more energy efficient housing supply, would reduce the overheads for landlords who offer bills-included tenancies.
 
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This article was originally published by BriefYourMarket and is reproduced here with their permission.

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