Free insulation for tenants is well-known and sought after, but what grants are available for landlords looking to improve their properties with insulation to raise EPC ratings? Well the two actually crossover pretty well, as the grants your tenants qualify for will directly impact the grants you qualify for. These are likely to be either the ECO4 scheme or the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS). Let us explain more below.
What is my role in a grant application as a private landlord?
Before we look at the various grants for free insulation in greater detail, it’s important that you understand that no application for insulation can take place in a rented property without the landlord’s say so. That means you’ll have to provide your permission and support your tenant in applying for a grant if your property and their circumstances mean that they qualify.
This is to protect you from changes to your property that you don’t want. However, there’s really no reason why a landlord should object to new insulation for their property because it brings a range of benefits their way.
What are the benefits of letting a tenant apply for free insulation at my property?
Upgrading the insulation in the property you rent out to a tenant benefits everybody, especially if they qualify for free insulation via one of the main government grants for insulation.
- Can help you retain tenants for longer.
- Increases property value on the rental market.
- Improves condition of property.
- Increases the EPC rating of your home.
- Improves efficiency in your property for years thanks to insulation’s guarantee.
- Reduced carbon emissions from your property.
- Makes your property more saleable if you decide to sell up.
- Can attract new tenants if your old tenant leaves.
Not only will all those benefits benefit you, but your property will be improved with new insulation with no cost to you as well.
What grants are available for landlords?
The two main grants that will be relevant to you as a landlord are:
- The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS)
What is the ECO4 scheme for landlords?
ECO4 offers a range of improvements for homes in Great Britain, but one of the most popular options is to install new insulation. That’s because it’s a relatively cheap home improvement measure and it can be installed in one form or another relatively easily in most homes, too.
The ECO (or Energy Company Obligation) scheme is a government funded scheme that pressures the largest energy companies in Great Britain into delivering home improvement measures to their lowest income customers living in the worst homes for carbon emissions. The government funds the measures, and the energy companies work to improve the homes of their customers to prevent further environmental pollution and high levels of carbon emissions. This, in turn, reduces energy bills for the household.
So, where do landlords come in? Well, you’ll need to make sure your property and tenant’s circumstances meet the following criteria.
What is the ECO4 eligibility criteria?
Your tenant will need to meet the following criteria if you want your rented property to receive free insulation via ECO4:
- Have landlord’s permission
- Have a household income under £31,000 per year
- Live in a property with an EPC rating of D-G
- Receive a means tested benefit
If your property is rated D-G and your tenant meets the requirements, then you can support them in making an application for ECO4.
What are the means tested benefits that could mean your tenant qualifies?
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Benefit (with a household income below a certain amount – check if you qualify with us today)
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Pension Credit Savings Credit
What is the Great British Insulation Scheme for landlords?
The Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS), formerly known as ECO+, is another government funded initiative designed to support low income households living in homes that contribute the most carbon emissions to the atmosphere due to poor thermal efficiency. Except with GBIS the focus is solely on insulation, rather than other home improvement measures.
The range of insulation types on offer include:
- cavity wall insulation
- room-in-roof insulation
- internal solid wall insulation
- external solid wall insulation
- park home insulation
- loft insulation
- solid floor insulation
- pitched roof insulation
- underfloor insulation
- flat roof insulation
But again, your tenant will need to meet certain criteria in order for your property to receive any upgrades under GBIS.
What is the eligibility criteria for GBIS?
If your tenant meets the following criteria then, as their landlord, you can assist with their application for insulation support:
- Have landlord’s permission
- Have an annual household income below £31,000
- Have an EPC rating of D-G
- Have a home in council tax band A-E in Great Britain (A-D in England specifically)
Will it cost me anything as a landlord?
No. If your tenant qualifies for free insulation then you won’t have to pay a penny towards the cost of the insulation or its installation at your rented property. How much support your tenant receives will be decided on an individual basis based on their income and how poor their home is performing in terms of its thermal efficiency.
If your tenant qualifies for grant support but doesn’t qualify for a large enough grant to cover the full cost, then it’s their responsibility to cover the rest of the bill. You could offer to cover the bill if you so wished, since it’s your property that’s benefiting from the scheme and you’ll still be benefiting even after your tenant leaves. This is not, however, an expectation or a duty, it may just be something you wish to do since it’s your tenant’s circumstances that allowed you to receive insulation at a much reduced rate anyway.
I think my tenant may be eligible – what do I need to do now?
If you think your tenant is eligible then the first thing to do is talk with them about your plans to see if they’re on board with the changes to your property. After that you’ll want to work together to ensure they are eligible for support. You can check your tenant’s eligibility with us today.
Of course, you’ll need to make it clear that you’re giving your permission as the owner of the property for your tenant to apply for grant support for insulation. This is made much easier if you help your tenant with each stage of the process.
What grants are available for landlords looking for free insulation: Summary
Below we’ve summarised the main points to remember as a landlord hoping to benefit from insulation grants and funding.
|ECO4 and The Great British Insulation Schemes are the main schemes that are relevant to landlords and tenants
|It’s your tenant that will need to meet the eligibility criteria and they’ll need your express permission to apply
|It won’t cost you a penny
|If your tenant is eligible for only partial funding, it’s their responsibility to cover the rest of the installation cost – although you can help out if you feel inclined to do so
|There are a range of benefits for both tenants and landlords
|Not only will your tenant enjoy reduced energy bills and a more comfortable home, but you’ll know that your property efficiency has improved and the condition of your property along with
Work with your tenant to check their eligibility with Free Insulation Scheme today.