How to cut utility bills in rental properties

Take a look at the list of measures drawn up buy utilities companies, which offers advice on how tenants and landlords can reduce expenditure this summer on their household bills.

Suggested water savings include:

– Swap baths for showers – opting to reduce the number of baths a household has and swapping for a shower can greatly impact the water usage a household might utilise. A shorter shower uses a third of the water it would use to fill a bath, so even if cutting out baths, in general, is a no-go, try to limit it to just once or twice a week;

– Unneeded running taps – leaving the taps to run whilst doing short tasks, like brushing your teeth or shaving, can pose largely on water usage when considering it is an everyday task. Turning off the tap while doing these routines will reduce the amount of wasted water;- Small wash cycles – by doing large loads of laundry instead of completing numerous half-cycle washes per week, you will save enormous amounts of wasted water and energy. Not only is washing larger cycles more efficient but washing at a reduced temperature will also help reduce energy bills;- Using a dishwasher instead of washing up in the sink – while washing and rinsing small items in the sink may feel like you’re reducing amounts of water, it instead causes litres of water to be wasted, which is why its more efficient to pop any dirty dishes into the dishwasher, wait till its fully loaded and allow a full cycle wash. Be careful not to overuse the machine by half-filling it – as this is also ineffective;- Look at getting a water meter – This may not suit every household, which is why it’s important to look into as it could save you money. Money-saving expert and Martin Lewis suggests looking into it if you have “more bedrooms in your home than people or the same number”.

Suggested gas savings include:

– Install a smart thermostat – there are many advantages to installing a smart thermostat. Due to the technology used inside this gadget, it can understand household patterns in usage and adjust the temperature based on when the home is occupied and not occupied. This effectively will reduce the time that heating and cooling systems are turned on, therefore, reducing the amount of gas;

– Insulate your home – if you struggle to stay warmer in the colder months, it might be worth investing in properly insulating your home. Loft insulation is a great place to start as heat rises, and in a house with no effective insulation, the main exit of heat will be via its roof. Although this is a more costly upfront price, it will pay for itself in the long run;

– DIY heavy curtains – if you want to take a more hands-on approach and avoid large sums of money, DIY some heavy curtains to keep heat in during the colder months. This is an excellent way of insulating your home if you have small bedrooms that let out a lot of heat;

– Hang your washing out – it sounds obvious, but many homeowners are opting for the fast option when it comes to drying clothes and putting them in the dryer. As summer is now upon us, making the conscious effort to hang up your washing in the garden, balcony, or on an inside airer will surely see you saving.

Suggested electricity savings include:

– Turn off standby appliances – You will reduce wasted electricity by turning off appliances that are not in active use or aren’t used at all. It is also noted that purchasing plug sockets that can be turned on/off via your phone are great options if you spend a lot of time out of the house;

– Turn off lights – as easy as it is to leave lights on and forget to turn them off, try to consciously turn off the lights when leaving a room or when you could use natural light instead;

– Use stand-alone devices – using stand-alone devices such as laptops, tablets and phones as opposed to desktop computers; you will reduce your daily power consumption. This can also increase efficiency in work as these devices can be used anywhere at any time;

– Be more efficient when cooking – by using lids on boiling pans and using the right the hob, and utilising the correct kitchenware when cooking, you are more likely to speed up the length of time that the appliance is on for.


The right PropTech solution supports letting agents, landlords and tenants

How can technology help the payment process for letting agents?  How can technology sit alongside different jurisdictional compliance requirements around the world?  What are the opportunities to work with client money protection insurers?   How can payment systems fit in with other technology solutions as part of an agent’s technology stack?  What should agents moving into the letting space look for when adopting technology solutions?

PropTech supplier Inventorybase has drawn up a league table of what it calls the private rental sector’s most complained about issues.

After analysing visits to its website section for landlords, it says tenancies and contracts are the biggest issue with 21.49 per cent of all interactions on the forum relating to this category.

Then came maintenance on 16.9 per cent; rent on 15.4 per cent; tenants in situ on 11.1 per cent; and bills on 9.7 per cent.

The issue with the least amount of views was eviction and repossession with only 0.55 per cent of of all interactions relating to this topic.

Keep up to date with everything

Understanding the latest changes to housing laws and making amendments as and when they are necessary will help resolve disputes and make you a better landlord and tenant.

Put disputes in writing and keep an inventory

Always keep an up to date and formal document with any issues you have regarding the property you’re letting. Keep an inventory and a diary and be as specific and as accurate as you possibly can – describing dates and any occurrences which pertain to the dispute. This helps keep both landlord and tenant up to date with factual evidence.

Hire a mediator

Using the help of a neutral third party can help both tenant and landlord feel they are being heard without bias. The mediator will also be best placed to advise whether or not further action is necessary in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Focus on the positives and try to compromise

It’s easy to think solely about what you want out of a situation. However a positive solution is often a long term one and the repercussions of your dispute may be felt further down the line. Be willing to compromise and make sure you both communicate effectively.