Tenants 'concerned by rising utility costs'

Posted: 01 Oct 2008 13:42:32 GMT

            Property News - Tenants 'concerned by rising utility costs'

Eight in ten renters are worried about the cost of their household bills, new research has revealed.

A report published this week by the department of Communities and Local Government revealed that 79 per cent are concerned by their utility bill, with the typical household paying the equivalent of 20 per cent of average rents (£6,760) on gas and electricity (£1,360).

The research also indicated that household bills are now the most important factor in choosing a property to rent after location, with 22 per cent claiming that the price of utilities had an "extreme effect" on their decision-making.

This comes at a time when Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are being introduced in the rental sector. From October 1st, all new tenancies will require a certificate, something it is hoped will encourage landlords to increase the efficiency of their properties, subsequently reducing tenant bills.

Communities minister Ian Wright said: "The EPC should be welcomed by tenants who are looking for better value and more energy efficient rental properties, as well as landlords who are, more than ever, keen to attract responsible and committed tenants."

Last week, specialist buy-to-let mortgage supplier Paragon urged landlords to comply with the new EPC legislation, or risk fines and periods during which they are not allowed to rent out their properties, factors which could seriously dent their income.

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