Could the fuel crisis drive change for landlords?

Owners of electric cars are probably feeling quietly triumphant at the moment, as the fuel crisis looks set to rumble on to another weekend. 

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But as the nation scrambles for fuel, is there soon going to be a new pressure on residential lettings… the need for changing points in all properties? 

Some savvy landlords may be one step ahead of the game, with homes boasting a charging point rocketing in value. But what happens if your property is not set up for off-street charging, high rise flats, for example?

Well, unlike the media management of the fuel crisis, it seems that this is all in hand – and landlords could soon look to the Government for help in providing access to a car charging point for their tenants.

A government consultation into electric vehicle charging was first published in 2019, and encourages electric car charge points for both new builds and current buildings, including those without allocated parking. The 50-page report which has now been made available online before its first reading in parliament says; that the government will provide support for those drivers without access to off-street parking.

The report goes on to say;

We are providing up to £4.5 million grant funding for an on-street residential charge point scheme, and we have launched a £40 million program to develop and trial a low cost wireless charging and on-street solution, for on-street and high rise dwellings.

The attractiveness of electric vehicles, which was once seen as the preserve of the rich, was highlighted this week, with the fuel shortages at the pumps and the long queues for diesel and unleaded. If you’re not queing for it, you’re worrying about your tank, or debating whether your neighbors are the type to have a boot full of jerry cans. It’s led to many of us pondering whether our next car should be ‘greener’, but what do we need to be considering? 

Where is your nearest charge point? 

The amount of charging points is growing in the UK, according to Zap Map, which tracks the daily installation of new charging points. Their figures today showed  25993 devices, in 16345 locations, which is an increase of 575 in the last 30 days.

Could installing a charge point be a good investment for your rental? 

Installing car charging units could bring more than just the green benefits, after research published by car leasing firm Riverdale reveals that installing charging points could help hike the value of your property. 

They said:

Houses with electric vehicle (EV) charge points are worth an extra £50,000, on average.

The company analyzed the values of 1,000 homes and found 76 percent of those with an EV charger were worth more than the local average.

The government consultation wants to include help for private properties that are being renovated. They said:

We expect millions more electric vehicles on UK roads in the coming years. We need the charge point infrastructure to support these vehicles, particularly in homes where most electric vehicle charging takes place.

The government proposed a new requirement for every residential building undergoing renovation with 10 car parking spaces, to have cable routes for electric vehicle charge points – in every car parking space.

Do EV charging stations need maintenance?

Landlords planning to cash in on government help and see an increase in their property values will have to undertake regular inspections of their charging point, as part of their annual Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), along with the rest of their property.

Those in the process of installing charging points, are being asked to check the new regulation and see that their device conforms with the 4th Edition of the IET code of practice for EV installations, which electricians taking on the work must be aware of. This includes new rules on earthing and distance away from the property and its drains.

How NOT to do it

There are reports that many electric vehicle owners are taking matters into their own hands, with many vehicles being charged from extension cables hanging out of windows. The Local Government Association this week waded in on the move to zero-emission cars and advised that ‘drivers should consult their local authority’s website first; when considering how best to charge their electric vehicles.’ Given the rain that has accompanied the fuel drama, this is a charging solution we would definitely NOT suggest as sensible…

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