The boiler in your rental property provides hot water, keeps your property warm, and your tenants happy and cosy.
While it’s not something that needs replacing often, when it is time to buy a new boiler, it’s a big investment that requires research and careful consideration. After all, when you choose a boiler that is reliable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient, it has several benefits for both tenant and landlord. The right boiler can help boost tenant comfort, reduce energy bills, and minimise maintenance and repair costs for the landlord.
In this article, we’ll provide landlords with useful guidance, tips, and things to consider when shopping for a new boiler for a rental property.
Landlord Boiler Responsibilities
The boiler is the most important appliance in your rental property. If the boiler is not in full working order, the property cannot be classed as safe and habitable for tenants. Therefore, keeping the boiler in tip-top working order is a legal requirement and should always be a landlord’s priority.
Let’s take a look at exactly what the landlord’s responsibilities are when it comes to the boiler in a rental property.
Keeping the Boiler in Good Repair and Proper Working Order
According to Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are responsible for keeping installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, and sanitation in good working order and keeping installations for space heating and water heating in good repair and proper working order.
Resolving Boiler Problems Within 24 Hours
Under the Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018, landlords are responsible for ensuring tenants are not exposed to excess cold and do not suffer an inadequate hot water supply. Any problems with the heating or hot water are considered an emergency and should be resolved within 24 hours.
Arranging Annual Boiler Servicing
According to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to perform an annual gas safety check on all gas appliances within a rental property. Tenants must also be issued a copy of the gas safety certificate before they move in and within 28 days of each subsequent check being carried out.
Providing an EPC Certificate
Landlords must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and provide tenants with a copy at the start of the tenancy.
How to Know When it’s Time to Replace the Boiler in Your Rental Property
If the boiler in your rental property completely packs in and is condemned by your trusted boiler engineer, then it’s clear that you need a new boiler. However, this isn’t the only time you should replace your boiler; sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to bite the bullet and invest in a new boiler before you reach this point. Let’s look at some signs indicating that it’s time to replace the boiler in your buy-to-let.
If your tenants are forever calling up because they’re having problems with the boiler, then it’s probably causing both them and you a headache. Older boilers that are frequently breaking down could be reaching the end of their lifespan.
Equally, if you find that every time the boiler breaks down or has a fault, the job is getting more complex or expensive to repair because of the boiler’s age, then replacing it may be more cost-effective.
Other signs indicating it’s time to start boiler shopping include high energy bills, poor performance, and a noisy or rusty boiler.
What to Consider When Shopping for a New Boiler for a Rental Property
If it’s time to replace the boiler in your rental property, it’s important not to settle for the first or cheapest boiler you see. Shopping around and researching the best type of boiler for your property can help you save money and hassle in the long run and improve tenant comfort.
We’ve compiled a list of important things to consider when choosing the right boiler for your rental property to help you make an informed decision.
Type of Boiler
Combi, system, or conventional boiler – which is right for your rental property? Combi boilers are the best option for smaller properties with just one bathroom. Generally, combi-boilers are more energy efficient and eliminate the need for a big, bulky water tank – they’re also usually cheaper to run and maintain. However, they aren’t suitable for every property – some larger properties with multiple bathrooms or water outlets may require a system or conventional boiler.
The ideal boiler size depends on various factors, including the property size, number of radiators, and bathrooms. A boiler that is too small may struggle to meet demand, while a boiler that’s too big could inflate energy costs. Generally, a plumber or boiler engineer can advise you on the best size boiler for your property.
Be realistic with your budget; it’s not worth scrimping when buying a new boiler. Although it can be tempting to spend the bare minimum, this is a false economy and will likely cause you a headache later.
Boiler Brand and Model
Choose a boiler from a reputable brand like Worcester Bosch or Vaillant. While boilers from top brands like these may be on the higher end of the price scale, they also tend to be more reliable and longer-lasting than cheaper brands, making them more cost-effective in the long term.
Look for a boiler with an extensive guarantee or warranty period, ideally a minimum of 7-10 years, for your peace of mind.
Whether you opt for a local plumber or an online service like BOXT, comparing prices and reviews is essential before deciding who will install your new boiler. Some brands will extend their warranty if you have the boiler installed by one of their certified installers.
Most modern boilers are compatible with smart technology and apps like Nest and Hive. Smart technology allows tenants to monitor energy usage and control heating remotely, and could even be an attractive selling point when advertising for new tenants.
Best Boiler Brands for Rental Properties
Like most purchasing decisions, the best boiler for your rental property depends on your unique circumstances. In this case, it is primarily the size of the property and the number of radiators, bathrooms, and water outlets that it has.
When deciding which are the best boiler brands for landlords, we’ve considered several factors, including reliability, length of warranty, brand reputation, longevity of products, and value for money.
With these factors in mind, the two boiler brands that always come out on top are Worcester Bosch and Vaillant.
Popular Worcester Bosch Combi Boilers
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000 Combi (ideal for small-sized properties)
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000 Combi (ideal for small to medium-sized properties with up to 16 radiators and two bathrooms)
- Worcester Bosch Greenstar 8000 Life Combi (ideal for large properties)
Popular Vaillant Combi Boilers
- Vaillant ecoFIT Pure Combi (ideal for small to medium-sized properties)
- Vaillant ecoTEC Pro Combi (ideal for medium-sized properties)
- Vaillant ecoTEC Plus Combi (ideal for large properties)
Popular System Boilers for Larger Properties and HMOs
Other boiler brands that are popular with landlords include Viessmann, Ideal, Alpha, Baxi, and Glow Worm.
Can Landlords get Funding for a New Boiler?
Landlords may be able to get funding for a new boiler or other improvements using the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Scheme. The ECO scheme is a government energy efficiency scheme that aims to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
A landlord is only eligible for the scheme if the tenants in the property qualify for the scheme. To qualify, tenants must claim one of the benefits listed on the government website. Speak to your local council if you think you may be eligible for ECO funding.
It’s important to take your time when selecting a new boiler for your rental property, as the decision will impact both your bottom line and your tenants’ comfort and satisfaction. Consider the various factors we’ve covered in this article to make an informed choice. Remember, it’s not just about meeting regulations; it’s also important to think about the best way to future-proof your investment. Once you’ve had your new boiler installed, don’t forget to educate your tenants on the most efficient way to use it, take out landlord boiler cover, and arrange for the boiler to be serviced annually to keep it in optimal condition for many years to come.