Tenants requesting new windows due to cold

My tenants (who have been in the property for approx 4 months), have complained about the windows in the living room of the property. They are old sash windows and are single glazed. Whilst I would love to get the windows changed I have previously received a quote and it was circa £10K which would wipe out any profit for approx 2 years. As an alternative the tenant suggested I pay half their gas bill (not sure if that was a serious request or not…). Whilst I sympathise to a certain extent she told me she had not had the heating on at all and it is now mid-November so I’m really not surprised that the flat is cold when its 6 degrees outside, double glazed windows will not change this. Has anyone else had a similar request and any thoughts on how to handle?

those must be big windows in one room to cost 10k

The cost of the windows is not really the point, the tenants took the flat knowing the windows were old sash single glazed windows, I also included the EPC which is reflective of this, now they come and say the property is cold when they haven’t turned the heating on once in mid November - I don’t really see how this is my issue to resolve, I lived there myself for many years and somehow managed….

With regard to windows, having sash windows in London replaced is incredibly expensive, that 10k quote was for 4 windows, pvc sash, I got 2 other quotes and they were considerably more, if you want wood sash you’d be talking more like double this amount.

that is incredibly expensive. Glad I do not lve there. Totally see what you mean What is the EPC rating?

The whole purpose of the EPC rating is to give the tenants an idea of the “running costs” of the house. That’s why it has to be shown in the marketing of the property so they can take it into account when considering to go forward or not, but you cannot delay providing the EPC until after a contract has already been signed, it must be shown in the original advertisting. It means they have had fair warning. So assuming they saw the EPC before deciding to go ahead, they can’t complain. Unless, of course, you didn’t disclose the EPC in the original marketing… or if the state of the windows means the house is no longer habitable. To be habitable it needs to be able to hit certain target temperatures. It doesn’t matter if it is expensive to hit those temperatures (the EPC rating has informed them of how expensive it is likely to be), the issue is whether the overall heating system (including windows) can hit those temperatures. There is a good government website but linking to it means this comment won’t get posted! just search for Guide for Tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Tenants agreed to it like this yes, however you should also get a quote from companies in midlands or further afield as often they will quote at a much lower rate yet still supply and fit national.

Instant quote on this site to get an idea of cost of frames. (need fitting)

I am surprised that the EPC is not an F or G rating if the problem is that bad. You should be aware that it is possible for the tenant to commission their own EPC and then hand it to you and if its not at least an E grade, you would be in breach of the MEES legislation. Alternatively they could call in the Council Environmental Health Officer who could force you to make improvements under HHSRS if its as bad as they say.

You may not have any choice in this matter and should definitely take the tenants concerns seriously.

Thanks Graham. That was exactly my understanding so thanks for confirming, the EPC was done recently and was included in all marketing materials with an estimate of running costs. The tenants told me that they had not switched the heating on yet and were then complaining of being cold, changing the windows won’t make any difference if it’s 6 degrees outside and you don’t want to run the heating. The boiler is also brand new and serviced regularly so as efficient as is possible to be. I will check out the government website as well to make sure I’m doing everything I ought to be

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what was the EPC rating?

Hi David, I had the EPC done recently by a local professional, it is rated at 62 with a max potential of 64 so therefore a grade D. The issue is that the tenants have not run the heating at all since they moved in. They are more than welcome to have an alternative assessment done on the property and if this is materially different then I would 100% make improvements. Replacing the windows would cost half of the gross rent for the year and I believe would only make a marginal improvement to insulation (if max is 64) so I really don’t think the council would have any position. Regardless I do not want to let it get to this, I am a reasonable person and want the tenants to have a good quality of life so will consider any reasonable improvements they propose

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I would have to question that EPC assessment. I dont think a difference of 2 points for replacing all windows with double glazed units is credible.

can you fit internal 2nd glazing?

1 side of the flat does have double glazing and as I said the boiler is brand new so that also helped. I m not an expert which is why I employed an expert to make the assessment. Surely if he has botched it he would be legally liable so I am sure he would if anything err on the conservative side

Ok, well I would still go and investigate and speak to the tenants iiwy and then follow up with a letter with recommended actions for both you and them. This is really the minimum required to deal with this issue and offer you some later cover. You absolutely dont want the Council coming in to assess the property as they wont limit themselves to looking at the space heating, but will end up giving you a list of improvements that will wipe out your profits for a lot more than 2 years.

Even if all d/g if they do not put the heating on ,it will still be cold.

We replaced our windows 3 of them (only 1 out of 3 bigger) wood, sash, about 1.5 years ago in London and it was 8000 pounds. We thought this was really expensive but equally liked the idea of quality windows. Our were replaced because even us thought the old one were drafty etc and we had to do this rating thing. Good luck!

Hi Bryan3

I understand your position, I do no some properties my be listed etc. I am not a landlord but a tenant, I have lived in a flat with no double glazing. Even if I hadn’t experienced that, just using my common sence I would not own a property to let out if it did not have DG and central heating or no ventilation or up to a standard a tenant should expect, what would you expect as a tenant? Cause even if a tenant does accept the tenancy with out DG, etc. they obviously are not very clued up, if that were the case I would have pointed out to the tenant before the moved in, most normal people would not accept a flat with no DG etc. so it is leaving a window open so to speak for your tenants to complain in future weeks or months when the temperature drops. I would have thought a landlord would realise this? It best if landlords try their best and tenants also. It can’t be very nice living in a home with no double glazing, well I actually no it is, cause I used to not be very clued up, but I’m learning now.i did read you want your tenants to have a good quality of life and that is exactly the attitude a landlord should have, i respect thay m8

I have to disagree Colin3 at my mother’s home at night with no Central heating on she has DG and her home is warm if anything I open a window at night to keep cool. She does have cavity wall insulation and loft insulation etc. though.

I’m not sure you’re crunching the numbers wisely here. Two things. Firstly, this is a replacement and therefore an allowable expense. Thus, it will also likely wipe out your liability for tax on your profit for a good many years (you can carry unspent expenses forward for ages - talk to your accountant). In other words, money you would have paid in tax, you will instead pay in improving your property. Secondly, the likely capital gain in having double glazed sashes over single will further make it a worthwhile investment.

If I had a single-glazed property (that wasn’t listed) I would have realised prior to purchase that double-glazing it in the 21st century isn’t a matter of if but when.