Much has been made of the importance of green improvements in the UK's rental housing market and the government is taking active steps to make sure that all rented accommodation meets certain energy efficiency standards.
So it may sound surprising that a third of landlords still do not know the energy rating of their property, even though it is a requirement for any private rented home to have an Energy Performance Certificate detailing this information.
This is one of the findings of a new survey by the Association of Residential Letting Agents, which also shows that half of landlords have never heard of the government's Green Deal energy policy.
Ian Potter, operations manager at the industry body, said this research shows that landlords are not as clued up as they ought to be when it comes to energy efficiency, and as a result are unable to help their tenants reduce their energy consumption and costs.
"At a time when energy prices are rising and average household disposable income is reportedly at a four-year low, making a rental property more energy efficient could mean a big difference for tenants, and help a property stand out," he remarked.
"Moreover, the government is proposing a minimum standard of energy efficiency in privately rented homes from April 2018 - likely to be set at an E rating. This means there really is a need to get on board with improving the energy performance of rental stock."
The Green Deal is one way for landlords to make improvements without having to pay for them upfront. The cost of fitting double glazing, installing loft insulation or putting solar panels on the roof is repaid by the tenant through savings in their energy bills.
But landlords must make sure that these changes are covered by their professional landlord insurance policies and that they have adequate protection in place if things go wrong. Furthermore, if employing workers to carry out the improvements, then liability cover may be needed too.
Posted by Jason Randall