Today is the day when we all go on strike to save the planet.
So what can the private rented sector do to help the planet?
Probably quite a lot. Around 20% of emissions come from domestic dwellings and about 20-25% of households live in the private rented sector now.
Here are a few ideas of things you could do if you are a landlord. If you have any other suggestions please put them in the comments below:
- Get rid of your gas appliances (gas is a fossil fuel) and move to something else – such as a heat pump, solar, or just electrical appliances – so long as you
- Switch to a green energy company for your electricity. I like Ecotricity as they use the profits to build wind and solar farms (they also have a good green mobile phone service).
- Plant as many trees as you can in the gardens (making sure they don’t threaten the foundations). Consider fruit trees.
- Make sure that your property is properly insulated
- Encourage your tenants to get an electric car by installing charging points
If you are a tenant you could:
- Switch to a green energy company such as Ecotricity
- Try to persuade your landlord to use greener heating products, and insulate the building properly
- If you live in a block of flats – join with other residents to exert pressure on landlords and freeholders to improve the carbon footprint of the building.
I have a small Eco Landlords blog where I write about this sort of thing – take a look for some more ideas.
We all need to do what we can.
Bad news for landlords as the Lib Dems vote to scrap it. So that’s all the political parties now.
However, all the landlords and agents organisations are issuing warnings that it will have a negative impact on the industry with landlords selling up, reducing the available accommodation to those unable to buy.
Landlords are being urged to complete the government survey to give their views. The consultation will close on 12 October.
Shock finding – rent arrears are lower with direct payments to landlords
Who would have thought?
The Residential Landlords Association is calling for tenants to be able to choose whether rent is paid direct (known as Alternative Payment Arrangement or ‘APA). At present this is only available after tenants have fallen into two months arrears.
A report commissioned by Southwark Council has found that
it is the earlier and increased use of APAs, rather than other reforms, which have contributed most to reductions in arrears levels observed.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said:
Our own research finds that over half of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have seen them fall into rent arrears in the last year.
The report demonstrates that arrears are lower under direct payments to landlords and supports our call for the government to give all tenants on Universal Credit the ability to choose to have the housing element paid directly to their landlord.
Many tenants feel more comfortable with managing their finances knowing that their rent is paid and it should be up to them to be free to make that decision.
It is the common-sense solution. But common sense does not always walk in ministerial corridors.
Labour, meanwhile, is considering scrapping Universal Credit.
RLA – NLA merger to go ahead
Members have backed the merger plans so this will now go ahead as planned. It seems the most sensible way to move forward and will undoubtedly be better for landlords.
I wish them all the best.