Following on from my post titled lessons about managing agents last week. I’m now kicking myself even more because I’ve realised that I could have done even better than Patrick’s much more reasonable price of £1585 for a new boiler in one of my properties. I could have got the boiler for £0. That’s right, zero.

You might already be aware of this but I have to say this had passed me by until a few weeks ago.

If you have tenants on benefits, specifically tenants with children, or tenants who are pensioners, you, or more accurately your tenant, are more than likely eligible to receive a free boiler.

This is not part of the Green Deal, and so there’s no repaying back the cost through increased electricity bills or any of that. These are free boilers provided by the energy companies under duress from the Government. If you’ve ever wondered why your power bills are so high, this is part of the explanation; the power companies are giving away free boilers.

As I say, your tenant has to be claiming specific benefits, and it seems that a major qualification is that they are claiming a benefit for having children, unless they are pensioners.

Also the application has to be made by the tenant, not the landlord, but that shouldn’t be hard to arrange. Often it’s a matter of the tenant making a single phone call so the supplier can run through, with them, which benefits they are claiming for.

Then, as long as the existing boiler is old and/or inefficient, being more than 7 years old is usually sufficient, a new boiler will be supplied and fitted at nil cost.

I have several tenants on benefits who meet the qualifying criteria and they will be making the phone call shortly.

Also, as properties become empty and need re-letting, I will probably have an ongoing bias towards tenants who qualify and ask them to make the call as soon as they move in.

I have properties in the north east of England, and in the east Midlands, and I have found schemes which cover both areas. If you have tenants on benefits it’s worth doing an internet search on ‘free boilers UK’ and seeing if there’s a scheme in your area. The chances are there will be.

Of course, I’m now kicking myself because although Patrick came up with a good price, the tenant in that property would have qualified for a free new boiler had I or my managing agents known that the scheme existed.

I’m now ‘educating’ all of my agents and am asking them to actively identify which tenants qualify so I can save thousands in getting multiple new boilers.

Here’s to successful property investing

Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS

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