Landlords Question –  Gas Safety Record & NEST grants

by Readers Question

22:23 PM, 11th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Landlords Question – Gas Safety Record & NEST grants

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Landlords Question –  Gas Safety Record & NEST grants

Landlords Question -  Gas Safety Record - NEST grantsHello Mark,

I wonder how you and others feel about my quandry regarding the gas installation at my rental property.

I have an end of terrace, 1920s built house which I rent out through my local council.

The heating and hot water are supplied via a back boiler with gas fire in front and a hot water cylinder. During a recent inspection the fire failed and was disconnected. The back boiler is still supplying hot water and heating but is past its best days.

I am considering my options which appear to be:

  1. change the whole system to a combi boiler, which will be an improvement to the house in general but offer me no saving as I don’t pay the gas bill,
  2. replace the fire and back boiler, or
  3. do nothing as the rest of the system is safe and has passed the safety check.

Replacing the fire only is not an option as it is not now possible to match one to the back boiler.

I have considered applying for a NEST grant but the tenant has to apply not the landlord. This is problematic as the tenants change regularly as they are installed by the local council who rent the house from me.

What do you suggest?

Do you have any knowledge of the NEST grant facility?

Regards,

Wayne Lewis



Comments

Mark Alexander

22:29 PM, 11th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Hi Dave, sorry I know very little about grants. I had to Google NEST grants to see what they are are as I'd not heard of them before. As it turns out they are available in Wales so it's hardly a surprise that I'd not heard of them as I've on the opposite side of the UK in Norfolk. I'm hoping that other landlords, gas engineers and grant specialists reading this post will be able to help. Should be a useful learning opportunity for me and any others if people do add comments. Thanks for raising the subject.

7:33 AM, 12th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Have you considered getting a Green Deal assessment done on the property to see if a new CH system would be available together with other energy efficiency works.

I have not heard of NEST grants, but Warm Front may still be available

If you don't apply for either you can set off the cost of any replacement to the tune of £1500 with a LESA (Landlords Energy Saving Allowance)

Julie Kirby

8:15 AM, 13th December 2012
About 6 years ago

HI Wayne
We are in exactly the same position as you with a number of flats in Torfaen leased to the council where the fires have been disconnected and cannot be replaced to match the working back boilers. An advisor from the Energy Saving Trust emailed me the following tenant criteria for an application to Nest:
Income based JSA
Income Support
Housing benefit
Pension credit (over 60`s)
Income related employment and support allowance
Council tax benefit (income related not health or single person discount)
Child/tax credit if household annual income is below £15,860 per annum

However we have decided to do nothing until either the boiler fails or the lease ends for a number of reasons:
1. In our experience over the last 5 years the main problem with the scheme we are on has been access due either because the tenant is difficult (as they don’t have much incentive since it is short term accommodation for them) or because the tenants change at extremely short notice (as the properties provide emergency accommodation). We felt a tenant application to Nest was a non-starter. Having said that we have had some success with loft and cavity wall insulation. Those applications were handled by the insulation surveyor but again access was a problem for about half the addresses.
2. We incurred costs of over three hundred pounds to fix the combi heating system for a property we had taken back off the scheme. The heating problems there could have been random of course or tenant interference. We feel any heating upgrade would be better timed for the end of the lease.
3. These leased flats have incurred more damage and insurance claims than our other properties on normal ASTs so we have taken the view that we will keep costs down and do no unnecessary upgrade until the end of the leases.
I’d just like to add that for our other properties on normal ASTs we take the opposite view and offer those properties as up to date and presentable as possible.

It seems to me the best advice is to consider your target market.

Hope this helps.

Mary Latham

16:45 PM, 15th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Look out for Go Early Green Deal schemes where you can get up to 90% of the cost of a new heating system and only need a Green Deal for the balance of the 10%. There is also still some money about for boiler swaps 100% cost free but its all coming to an end soon so do it now. Check out the web sites of the big energy companies, only 1 of the big 5 has spent what the Government told them to, they are facing big fines and need to get rid of the money.
Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

22:07 PM, 18th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Thanks all for your advice, I will look into the options although the boiler has now failed and I'm getting a combi system installed. The information will come in useful for another unit, a flat which has only storage heaters at the moment.
Julie, especially nice to hear from you as I live just down the road in Newport! Small world indeed..

3:08 AM, 19th December 2012
About 6 years ago

Remember that with a combi boiler the whole flue length has to be able to be inspected by a gas safe engineer.
NO hidden gas flues without access to each joint are allowed as of 1.1.13.
If not inspectable this means the installation MUST be shut down as it is ILLEGAL to remain in use.

Julie Kirby

17:31 PM, 21st January 2013
About 6 years ago

I have now had conflicting advice on whether a back boiler should be failed if a spillage test cannot be done on its fire because it has been disconnected. Gas Safe have directed me to the manufacturers. One installation is Glow Worm, one is Baxi. Has anyone else come across this? Thanks Julie


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