Author : Maryanne Bowring
The Green Homes Grant launches next week – and already the scams promising access to funding have started. Consumer watchdog Which? and the BBC both report that homeowners have received scam calls, emails and texts telling them that they are eligible for the Government’s new grants. Others are offering specific energy-saving measures such as insulation and claiming these would qualify.
Both private and social landlords can qualify for the grants when the scheme opens for applications on 20 September. So buy-to-let landlords are just as much at risk from these cons as individual homeowners. In Hertfordshire, scammers pretending to be part of the new scheme have been offering loft insulation and in Suffolk callers have been telling residents that they were eligible for the grant.
So if anyone has approached you telling that they can either help you get a grant for a fee or that you are automatically eligible and can claim back the money you pay for any work they do on your property, don’t be fooled. Under the scheme you may be able to claim a voucher for up to £5000 towards the cost of making your rented property more energy efficient. But you won’t receive any cold calls and property owners will need to make the application themselves. Before you can claim under the Green Homes Grant, you will need to have a survey carried out – so you cannot be “automatically eligible”. You will also need a quote from an accredited installer and that will need to be approved before you receive your voucher.
Landlords who do want to take advantage of the scheme can use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check what energy efficiency or low carbon heat improvements can be made to your home. Accredited tradespeople or businesses in your area that will be able to carry out the work are also listed. Always get at least three quotes and never be tempted to go off-piste and use an unaccredited firm that is offering a cheap deal. Remember the old adage – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
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