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Tax Breaks for Green Landlords

September 20, 2011
LANDLORDS are being reminded that energy- efficient properties can benefit them financially through a new Government tax allowance.

Carolyn Milburn, associate partner at George F White estate agents, said: "With energy costs rapidly spiralling, landlords should remember that their bank balances can benefit if they act now to make their properties more environmentally-friendly."

From now until 2015, private landlords who make energy saving improvements to their properties can reduce the amount of tax they pay through the Landlord's Energy Savings Allowance (LESA).

LESA is a tax allowance not a payment and can be claimed by individual landlords who rent out residential property in the UK and abroad.

Accommodation let for holidays or through the Rent a Room scheme does not qualify. Measures which can be claimed for under LESA need not necessarily be complicated simple measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation and draught proofing all qualify.

And for those landlords looking to significantly invest in renewable energy to reduce carbon consumption, projects such as solar panels, wind and water turbines, wood-fueled boilers, ground and air-source heat pumps and micro combined heat and power units could be eligible.

As Carolyn explains: "The LESA scheme is really worth investigating as it can allow landlords to make quite significant savings to both their tax bill and their spending budgets.

"They are able to claim up to £1500 per property when they install any energy conservation measures approved by the scheme.

"In addition, they only pay 5% VAT on these items so, combined with the expected savings from these measures, this could have a marked effect on annual costs."

There is currently a window of opportunity, however, the allowance ends on April 1, 2015.

Carolyn still advises caution: "Green energy is currently the hot topic of the moment and there are certainly many companies offering services, but there is also a lot of conflicting advice.

"It is really important to get independent advice so that any investment you make suits the needs of your property is eligible for the LESA scheme, and helps you save on your long-term energy costs."
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