ANALYSIS: Are heat pumps a viable option for rental properties?

We know that households across the UK will need to adopt a low carbon alternative to traditional ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ANALYSIS: Are heat pumps a viable option for rental properties? | LandlordZONE.

ANALYSIS: Are heat pumps a viable option for rental properties?

We know that households across the UK will need to adopt a low carbon alternative to traditional heating solutions such as oil, gas, coal or wood burning in the future.

Air source or geothermal ground source heat pumps are being touted as just such an alternative to help the UK reach its net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050.

That’s a long way off of course, but we do know that the UK government has committed to a ‘decisive shift’ away from fossil fuel burning, with the most popular forms of domestic gas boilers to be phased out by the mid-2030s.

The drive for efficiency is only likely to intensify following the Conference of the Parties (COP 26), attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The 26th Conference of the Parties to be held in Glasgow this coming November is the most significant COP since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 as nations will be reviewing their emissions targets. Six years ago world leaders committed to an historic agreement to keep global mean temperature rises well below 2 degrees C, and to strive to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees C.

A difficult choice

As with the shift away for the internal combustion (IC) engines in cars and vans, there is much debate about which way to go, which systems will win out in the end: fully electric, hybrid, fuel cells, hydrogen etc.

We are talking about new and in many cases untried technologies, heat pumps, biomass and hydrogen and solar, so making a choice as to which horse to back, whether with transport or home heating, is going to be a real challenge for manufacturers and the rest of us in the near future.

The government’s December 2020 energy white paper, ‘Powering our net zero future’ states that new measures are definitely to be introduced soon to start switching home heating, at scale, to low-carbon alternatives.

It means that at some point in the future a low-carbon heating system, or an appliance that can be converted to use a clean fuel, will have to be installed in domestic properties. It is thought that at this stage, though technologies are developing, heating systems using heat pumps or hydrogen-ready boilers, or a combination (hybrid) system, are likely candidates to replace current natural gas and oil fired boilers in the future.

Although heat pump systems are a relatively new technology in the UK, they are not a new idea or application, having been used successfully in Scandinavia, Germany and other parts of Europe for many years, where there is an abundance of renewable electricity – namely hydro or wind turbine powered generators.

How does the Heat Pump work

A heat pump takes energy from either the outside air (air source) and the outside ground (geothermal ground source) and transfers it into heat (similar to a refrigerator in reverse) to be circulated around a heating and hot water system. Electricity is used to run the heat pump, principally a fan, compressor and circulating pumps to transfer energy from the heat source into the heating system.

This renewable source of heat (air or ground) is used to create warm air or water (for space and central heating) as well as hot water (for both central heating and domestic hot water supply) by utilising the small differences in temperature from the source to a fluid. This fluid passes through a compressor, increasing the temperature, and transfers that higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the home.

What are the arguments for fitting a heat pump system?

Warning, this assumes that you have chosen a reliable system supplied by a reputable manufacturer and fitted by an experience installer. You need to do thorough research before making a decision as the technology’s use is still at an early stage in the UK.

The main advantages are:

  • Overall lower running costs than oil and gas boilers, even taking into account the extra electricity use
  • There should be less regular maintenance with a reliable system properly installed
  • No carbon monoxide risk
  • Meets Carbon Emissions standards
  • Can be used to provide cooling, acting like AC
  • The system should have a long life-span
  • It is eligible for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

What are the downsides to Heat Pumps?

There are some disadvantages to heat pumps, the primary one being the high initial investment required, but also a property needs to be very well insulated if the heat produced internally is to be adequate.

  • High upfront cost – typically between £6,000 to £20,000 depending on installation and property size
  • Requires a property with very good insulation
  • Difficult to install so an experience supplier and installer is a priority
  • Requires significant work and disturbance, particularly ground source which also require suitable ground space
  • There can be issues in very cold weather
  • Some questionable the overall sustainability and whether these systems are entirely carbon neutral
  • Planning permission may be required

So is a heat pump system suitable for a rental property?

These are personal views, so take this with a piece of salt! When we are talking about a new-build with current specification insulation and where the property is off the mains gas grid, then fitting a heat pump system for the long-term is the most viable of the heat pump options. It should save money in the long run, cut down on maintenance requirements, add to safety and fitting the system along with the build will ease installation work and will likely reduce the payback time.

Retro fitting a system in a well insulated home, where the alternative sources of heat are electricity, oil or LPG, will also mean that a heat pump system can give substantial savings. But careful due diligence will be needed to calculate the payback time and chose a suitable manufacturer and installer.

It is likely to be less advantageous to fit these systems when mains natural gas is available, certainly in the short-term, ie., up to 2035.

My own experience, of staying in a well insulated holiday lodge, heated by a Panasonic air source heat pump, during a cold spell, was that an air source system (deemed to be not quite as efficient as a ground source system) provided very adequate room heating and hot water.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ANALYSIS: Are heat pumps a viable option for rental properties? | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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Evictions; The faster and more cost-effective solution

There are thousands of County Court Possession Orders forming the backlog of cases awaiting an eviction date ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Evictions; The faster and more cost-effective solution | LandlordZONE.

Evictions; The faster and more cost-effective solution

There are thousands of County Court Possession Orders forming the backlog of cases awaiting an eviction date from the County Court Bailiff Service as a direct result of the pandemic.

Therefore, if you have a Possession Order in the system and are waiting for an eviction date from the County Court, you could be in for a long wait.

It could take months and possibly longer for the courts to clear the backlog alongside dealing with the new cases that are being added daily.

There is an alternative which is not only a quicker route to getting your property back but could also save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds in unpaid rent.

Transfer approved

The eviction can be expedited to the High Court with a simple application to the County Court seeking permission; a District Judge will review the matter and usually approve the transfer.

The up-front cost of High Court Enforcement is greater than those of a County Court Bailiff.

But, given you could be waiting a significant time for the County Court to allocate an eviction date, if you are not being paid rent, then the months of time this will save you makes it the most cost-effective option for you overall enabling you to re-let the property sooner rather than later.

If you have obtained an Order for Possession and in the position outlined above, then we can help.

The process from this point is to make an application to the County Court for permission to use High Court Enforcement. We will assist you with this.

Once the application has been granted, you can then issue a Writ of Possession in the High Court and we will assist you during the process.

Further instructions

Once this has been received, we can execute it in accordance with your further instructions, but only after we have served the mandatory 14-day Notice of Eviction on the tenants or any other occupiers of the property.

To execute the Writ, we will attend at the given time with a locksmith and take back possession of your property for you immediately.

At the point of the eviction, we also serve a ‘torts notice’ too. This is a legal document alerting the owner of items that have been abandoned on private land or property.

The notice period given on ours torts is typically seven days as it needs to be deemed as reasonable, for a larger scale operation you may consider allowing more time.

Items removed

If the tenant fails to act within the terms of the notice, you can then remove any items left behind yourself; you would not be permitted to do so if you had not served such a notice.

Torts are a good way to put pressure on tenants who try to cause further issues and delays; whether you follow through on it or not is up to you.

The test on a torts notice is that you have been ‘reasonable’ so we would not advocate providing less than seven days to protect your own position.

In addition to the eviction, as Enforcement Agents, we are in the unique position of being able to also pursue the tenant for the unpaid rent and costs as awarded as a money judgment on your Court Order (providing they exceed £600).

Pursue recovery

This can be done either at the time of the eviction or you may prefer to pursue recovery of the money later if it is likely that the former tenant’s financial position is going to improve.

Please do not be put off by the horrendously long lead times in the County Courts at the moment as there is an alternative solution which is quicker, more cost effective and from the point of such matters being transferred to us, we have a 100% success rate.

Please get in touch if you think we can help or if you would like more information or guidance.

Contact us and discover how we can speed up the eviction process for you:

Call: 01992 666396

Email: commercialservices@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Evictions; The faster and more cost-effective solution | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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