Upgrade to ChromeUpgrade to FirefoxUpgrade to Internet ExplorerUpgrade to Safari

How landlords can help tenants during the cost of living crisis

20th February 2023

visual aid

Cost of living  is very much a part of every day life, and as we all look for ways to help counter-act these effects. If you are a landlord with rented properties you may also be able to help others. Equally, if you have tenants that are struggling to pay their rent in regards to cost-of-living, to help work with your tenants and to avoid arrears, we have come up with some ways which may help and ease the pressure. In addition, most of these ideas will also save you money in the long run too.

 

1. Create property information packs

Create a helpful information pack for new tenants moving in, to provide important information on maintaining the property which in turn will help minimise maintenance expenses. Landlords (or their agents) can prepare these, for example Seraph send out a ‘Tenant Handbook’ to every tenant in a managed property. This includes key information such as, emergency contacts, responsibilities of tenants and landlords and how to guides.  More specifically, showing renters how to operate heating and cooling systems, prevent pests and moulds, check that ventilation is working properly, and encourage them to report maintenance issues promptly are all examples of things that can save money in the long run.

 

2. Communication is key

Hurried decisions won’t help anyone at a time when we’re all feeling the strain of rising living expenses. Talk to your tenants on a regular basis to find out about their financial situation and any problems they are having. If the rent is increased suddenly and without an explanation, it may cause the tenants to lose their ability to pay and, as a result, fall behind on payments, straining the relationship. To reach an agreement that works for both parties, be open to hearing their ideas and share your financial problems with them so they are aware of the increasing landlord expenses you are experiencing. Alternatively, if you are looking to appoint a managing agent, ensuring they have an approachable and friendly rent collection team could be helpful in your decision making process.

 

3. Invest in Energy Efficiency

Make an investment to increase the energy efficiency of your rental property. To read more about Energy Efficiency in further detail we broke down steps on how you can increase your EPC here.  According to Shawbrook research, about a quarter of landlords have already made energy efficiency upgrades to lower costs. Landlords must proceed with these efforts, beginning with smaller eco-home upgrades (such as installing insulation, draught-proofing, or Led bulbs) and working their way up. The government intends to boost the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating to a C or above for all newly rented houses starting in 2025, which may seem like a hefty price to swallow, but these costs are unavoidable but also cost-saving to both you and the tenant in the long run. These will ultimately be worth the investment because, according to a survey by an online letting firm found, 52% of tenants are willing to pay more for a greener home.

 

4. Council tax check

Confirm your tax band and entitlements for council tax price reductions. Council tax bands rose by around 3% for millions of households last year and are set to rise again in April 2023. Its becoming more essential to check with your neighbours or run a valuation check to make sure you are not paying extra. About 46% of tax challenges made last year were successful in lowering their band. You and your tenants may also be entitled for discounts of between 25% and 100%, from single-person discounts to empty homes, so always check!

 

In times like these, when the rising cost of living has become a daily reality for everyone, it is necessary to approach your tenants with empathy. It’s great to observe that, despite the financial crisis, an outstanding number of landlords have extended assistance to their renters – actions that will support the upkeep of positive, stable relationships.

 

If you need assistance in lowering some costs in your rental property, contact a member of the Seraph team to discuss your options today.