Q. I am a landlord with several properties in my portfolio and am currently carrying out a refurb on a couple of them and I have a concern surrounding boiler replacement. Currently they have a gas boiler installed which quite frankly is on its last legs. My builder has suggested that if I change the boiler I replace it with an electric one. What are your thoughts on this, my assumption was that tenants prefer gas? Will it make it harder to rent if I replace it with an electric one?
A. Over the last few years I have noticed there seems to be a big surge in the replacement of gas boilers for electric and although initial thoughts from most is that they can be more expensive to run it seems the practicality of an electric boiler is definitely outweighing the negative elements. With the legislation over the last few years surrounding safety with a gas boiler being so ridged particularly since the introduction of inspection hatches which can be nothing short of an absolute eye saw to allow access to the flues it seems many are turning their back on the more traditional gas boiler and happily replacing with a new slim electric one. From a landlords perspective, certainly the safety aspect of electric over gas cannot be ignored as there is no worry about leaky flues or carbon monoxide poisoning, something that can weigh heavily on the landlords shoulders when you are responsible for the safety of resident tenants. Personally having a fairly large management portfolio with many boilers replaced for electric already I have not had any wild stories of super heavy electric bills following a replacement in fact my observation has been to the contrary and the actual running of an electric boiler seems to be far easier with a lot less call outs than usually evident amongst gas. With the removal of the need for an annual Gas safety check too I can honestly say that the majority of my Landlords would confirm that the positives far supersede the negatives.