Living in rented accommodation has some great perks, as highlighted in our article Should I Rent or Buy? How to Make the Right Decision for You and Your Money. Renting means that your landlord is responsible for repairs, insulation, and most importantly, keeping your boiler in top shape.
Whilst these expenses don’t fall on your shoulders, unfortunately, actually heating your home does.
We all know how expensive heating can be, especially now that winter’s here and with the added pressure of being locked down in your home for most of this year, it’s likely to pull at your purse strings more than ever.
What Is Your Landlord Responsible For?
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together this quick guide to help you stay warm and save money at the same time.
To put it simply, your landlord is responsible for the fabric and function of your home and must make sure everything is in working order.
They should always have insurance to cover any problems and the Landlord Insurance Guide by HomeServe states that their insurance should include parts and labour for any breakdown. They aren’t responsible for how much energy you use… that’s up to you.
You should discuss roof and cavity wall insulation, water leakages and breakdowns in your boiler with them. They’re bound by some minimum requirements when they rent out any home, which are fully outlined by The Tenants Voice.
For example, the minimum heating temperature should reach 21°C in living rooms when the outdoor temperature is 1°C or lower. If the requirements aren’t met, then you should raise it with them.
It’s in their interest to keep things to a good standard and fix breakages as soon as possible to avoid further damage to their house’s structure.
Your landlord should be able to provide an EPC certificate to confirm that the property meets the energy performance standards, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
You could even discuss a smart meter with them too. Although they don’t technically need to have one installed, it’d be a good move for them as it’ll boost the house’s rentability, but it’s also a great step for you as it’ll help you save money on your monthly bill.
What’s Left Up to You?
So, you’ve spoken to the landlord and you’ve got your insulation and boiler covered, but you’re still struggling with your energy bills. Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost yourself.
7 Simple Ways to Reduce Energy Bills
1. Turn down the Thermostat
Why not try turning your thermostat down by a single degree? Doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll not notice the difference and it’ll shave as much as 6% off your bill.
2. Make the most of your heat
Next, take a look around your rooms. Is the sofa blocking the radiator? Any heat coming from that radiator is being absorbed by your furniture, making your room colder.
Make the most of your heat by moving your furniture around away from your radiators, letting more heat out into the room.
3. Reduce heat loss
Also, consider other ways that heat could escape, like through large windows or doors, for example. Draughts aren’t the landlord’s responsibility if they aren’t due to a breakage, so buying thicker curtains and draught excluders will immediately make your house feel cozier.
You could even pop a sheet of foil behind your radiators to reflect the heat back into the room. That way you make the most of your heat and it doesn’t get lost through the cold wall behind.
4. Cover your windows with insulation film
Most DIY stores sell window insulation film. You simply apply the film to the inside of your windows and doors.
It is virtually unnoticeable and can save you up to £10 per window, in an average sized home that’s a saving of £80 a year.
5. Pay by direct debit
You can often qualify for hefty discounts if they set-up a monthly direct debit. Doing this could easily save you £100 a year, so make sure you do it today.
Also, look to get your gas and electricity bills sent directly to your email, doing away with paper bills.
6. Turn down the radiators
If you aren’t in a room, turn off the radiators to make even more savings! Focus the heat on the rooms where you spend most of your time and block off the colder rooms by closing doors to trap the heat.
Just make sure you ventilate the room each week to prevent damp.
7. Cover up
Finally, layer up. Dressing up in multiple layers with a thermal underwear can be a great way to keep the body heat in and the cold out without looking chunky.
Selecting the right type of thermal underwear, will help you retain heat and energy and save a lot of money over the long term.
You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by following these simple steps.
Over to You
How do you make your rental house warmer? Share your tips with us in the comments below!