There are two exemptions to allow for rent increases in a Rent Pressure Zone.
Exemption 1: The initial setting of the rent on a dwelling which had not been rented for a period of two years prior to the immediate tenancy commencement date. (If no tenancy has been in a property for two years immediately preceding, it can be rented out at market rent).
Exemption 2: A ‘substantial change’ in the nature of the accommodation.
With Exemption 2, insulation and building upgrades can constitute ‘substantial change’ if the landlord substantially reduces the energy usage and improves the properties BER rating, this will allow them to charge a higher rent for the property and provides the tenant with a property that is cheap to run and comfortable to live in.
Insulation upgrades can be a combination of attic insulation, cavity wall, dry lining or external wall insulation. Other upgrade works that count towards this substantial change are changing or upgrading the boiler for condensing models or installing heat pumps, heating control upgrades and window and door replacements. The BER must improve by 7 grades on the BER scale.
At Midland Energy Consultants we can provided advice on the most cost-effective way of improving the BER and meeting this substantial change requirement. We can outline all the grants available and help with these applications.
This is a great way to add value to your investment while also doing your bit to reduce carbon emissions and provide a quality rental accommodation.