Heating cost control in HMO’s

Heating cost control in HMO’s

19:00 PM, 14th May 2014, About 9 years ago 175

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I would greatly welcome the advice of other members on how to effectively manage heating costs. I have 2 HMO properties and rents include; water, gas, electric and broadband. Heating cost control in HMO's

Over the past 12 months the electric and gas bills seem to have rocketed. I have checked and the tenants are not growing weed but I suspect that they are keeping the heating on 24/7 and opening a window when it gets too hot.

I know there are products for this out there but don’t have experience of how they work.

Are there tried and tested ways of controlling a reasonable temperature and locking down the thermostat or being able to monitor it remotely?


Mark Hartell


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helena dolisznyj

14:19 PM, 11th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "john kelly" at "10/06/2014 - 10:27":

Thanks john,
I have done a complete refurb with new central heating ect new plaster flooring ect decor!
But will it not be cheaper to keep house aired ? As if it's cold they are lickley to put say a blow air heater on costing far more?

Also I was thinking of putting a figure on the monthly electric costs and then charging for extra by DD? Al set up at the beginning of let?

Also do you have a licenecning agreement I can share?

Robert M

22:05 PM, 12th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "17/05/2014 - 10:30":

Hi Mark

You asked me to report back................

I got the Inspire Home Automation Landlord Plus (NS1001 LV Plus) heating control, and it was fitted by my electrician about 10 days ago. I had a couple of problems setting it up as I was trying to do it from my phone while at the property, rather than with a laptop or tablet, but I rang the company and they assisted me with registering it, and once this was done I was able to do all the settings back at the office later that day. I have put in all the "locks" on the system so that the residents can only turn it up to the maximum level I've set. I have visited the property since and found it to be warm but not the usual sauna temperature, so it appears to be working well, and the heating is now within my control.

I am going to leave it another couple of weeks and check the temperature log to ensure it is still working as required, and if so, then I will buy more for my other properties. However, I think I may opt for the zoned version next time so that I can set a different temperature for upstairs and downstairs.

I think this could save me about £1000 per year per property, so would be well worth the investment.

Rajan Chhabra

11:18 AM, 14th June 2014, About 9 years ago

AMPY METERE IN EACH ROOM YOU SET IT TO YOUR TARRIF so indirectly it could also pay for heating in the house

Elizabeth Bax

11:24 AM, 14th June 2014, About 9 years ago

thought it was illegal to sell electricity - you can only set at the amount you pay - unless I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will tell me!

Alex Williams

14:55 PM, 14th June 2014, About 9 years ago

No. You are not wrong.

Matt Wardman

9:33 AM, 16th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Matt Wardman" at "06/06/2014 - 08:28":

>All students are on a single contract. This is the blurb:**moderated – self promotional links are not allowed – please see >>> http://www.property118.com/advertising/65073/ **

I'm afraid I object to that moderation of my post, Mark, and I would ask if you would undo the change please.

I am familiar with the site policies and I have not violated any of them.

The link is not self-promotional, it is to an example of best practice where I have no potential gain.

However, the editor is the boss, as we all accept.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:44 AM, 16th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Matt Wardman" at "16/06/2014 - 09:33":

If I have made an error Matt then I apologise. I am unable to see the post pre-changes.

Please email or call me and I will be happy to look into this further.

Matt Wardman

9:57 AM, 16th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/06/2014 - 09:44":

Thanks Mark, just typing one out...

Matt Wardman

11:04 AM, 16th June 2014, About 9 years ago

Hi Robert

Long reply (sorry!)

The OP said:

"I would greatly welcome the advice of other members on how to effectively manage heating costs."

Surely reducing basic running costs of a property by 40-50% is a very effective way of managing them, since you can then install smaller rads etc? I'd love to see the results of someone with HMOs really working through the numbers in detail. Perhaps the higher basic returns from HMOs would make it more affordable? There is a lot of funding around.

I agree that one issue is making costs transparent to tenants, and for that the "all inclusive with no rebates or overages" approach cannot work, so other tools are needed - such as rebates etc. I'd tentatively suggest that the basics are the place to start.

>>I imagine that most HMO landlords have older properties where the thermal efficiency is limited by their traditional build.
That's the point about EWI - it drops a teacosy over the whole house without disturbing the interior.

At present in my patch I can double glaze, fit new upvc doors, and EWI a solid walled Edwardian mid-terrace house for less than £10k and I think I can get half of that back from the government just on the 66% or 75% they will pay of the £6k or so that the EWI costs.

I'd love to see someone run the costs on an older smaller and larger HMO for this:

- What is the % of energy costs vs rental income?
- How much can the energy actually be reduced by if you really work at it?
- What did that do to tenant turnover, and the resulting "void" and "buggeration" costs?

I may be taking on a older HMO or 2 before long, so I'll learn more then, but for now this is one example using an AST rental.

I have done various works to an 1850 property (solid walls, including half-brick) with a 3 year established tenant over the last 2 years, with the result that the energy bills have more than halved. The previous energy bills were equivalent to nearly 50% of the rent. The upshot is that we are splitting the benefit, and I will be getting a rent increase of about 12% above inflation this year, and the T will have that much extra spare income so will be less likely to move for reaons of cost.

Works include:

"Green Deal" assessment (paid for by Energy Sceheme - free).
250mm loft insulation (paid for by Energy Sceheme - free).
New Viessmann boiler (paid for by Energy Sceheme - free).
New rads to replace 25 year old set (paid by me as gunge killed the previous boiler - £1k).
Full double glazing and 2 new doors (paid by me - £2.5k).
Install vent for separate tumble dryer rather than washer-dryer (cost next to nothing).
Some dry-lining at a point when T was redecorating anyway.
Various other bits.

And I haven't even got into EWI yet. Most of this would have been Green Deal-able.

The other benefit is that I may reduce my void costs by half or more, since this T may now stay for 5 years longer.



Steve Masters

21:55 PM, 15th September 2014, About 9 years ago

I'm so pleased with the smart thermostat from Inspire Home Automation that I have fitted a second one to another HMO.

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