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By James Dilgul

Head of Marketing , Fixflo


Energy crisis: Three tips for helping your tenants with the cost of living

With the sudden rise in energy prices in the last few months, many tenants will be feeling the pinch. Combine this with general cost of living increases, and you have a recipe for stress and tension between agent, landlord and occupier. Not to worry - here are three tips to help you support your tenants.

1.Watch out for the most vulnerable

"It's important to keep an eye on the most vulnerable groups," says Greg Matthews, former property manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward and Customer Success Manager at Fixflo. At one end of the scale, this includes older people, but young people will be highly affected too.

Older renters will need extra support throughout the cold season, given that a lack of heat can be especially consequential for them.


On the other hand, according to the BBC, 4 in 10 renters under the age of 30 are spending over 30% of their monthly wage on rent. That doesn't leave a lot of room for drastic bill increases. Bear in mind that young people, especially those who are on low wages or early in their careers, will be feeling the strain.

 "I think the concern of how long it takes to heat up a property is going to be at the forefront of everyone's mind this winter," suggests Greg. "People may try to cut costs by turning their heating off completely, but that could be a dangerous or even fatal decision for some. Agents and landlords should do everything they can to avoid people putting themselves in danger."

The key for both these groups? Ongoing communication and early intervention for those at risk.

2.Inform tenants of simple steps they can take

"There are some small changes that occupants can enact themselves," says Greg. "Getting a smart meter to track spending on heating and electricity will help people get an idea of how efficient their system is and when to have it checked out."

Other useful changes to improve insulation and reduce energy consumption include switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, adding reflective foil to radiators, and using window films and draft excluders. If your budget allows it, supplying these to tenants yourselves could really make a difference and demonstrate they are cared for and supported.

A longer-term fix is to encourage those on prepayment meters to switch to smart meters and pay by direct debit. "Prepayment meters are one of the most expensive ways to power your home," warns Greg.

3.Work with your landlords on larger-scale changes

Encourage your landlord to improve the energy efficiency of their property. Whether it's through enhanced insulation or switching to a greener heating system, adjustments like these can make a huge difference to energy consumption and, therefore, bill expenditure. Plus, with minimum EPC standards for rented homes expected to be raised in the near future, preparing now will allow them to stay one step ahead of regulations.

Finally, there is one simple thing to ensure you do regularly: communicate. "People will be a lot less angry and frustrated if they feel supported by their agent," confirms Greg. "Call people with updates, make yourself contactable, and we will all feel stronger."

For more ways to help tenants in the coming months, why not download our free Tenant's Guide: Autumn/Winter Checklist? It's an easy way to inform them how they can prepare their homes for cold weather and carry out simple maintenance jobs.

*James Dilgul is the Head of Marketing at Fixflo, the market-leading repairs and maintenance management software provider


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