Boiler Grants For Landlords & Tenants UK

Last updated: May 23, 2024

If you’re a landlord in the UK, your privately rented property can receive a new, highly efficient boiler if your tenant qualifies under certain criteria. Read on to learn more about UK boiler grants for landlords and tenants.

According to UK law, landlords must protect their tenants and ensure their properties are safe and free from health hazards.

This includes ensuring any gas appliance like a boiler is safely installed, maintained, and operating efficiently.

Boilers are essential for comfortable living and ensure you don’t live in a cold home that can lead to negative health outcomes.

If a boiler is faulty or inefficient, the landlord must call a Gas Safe registered engineer to check and repair it. They should also help tenants find temporary accommodation until the boiler works again.

If your property has an old, inefficient, or broken boiler, boiler grants can help save you money on upfront costs you’d still incur anyway.

This guide explores the available boiler grants for landlords, including who can apply, and the eligibility criteria.

Installing a Worcester Bosch boiler obtained through boiler grants for landlords
Image by Worcester Bosch

Quick Takeaways:

  • If you own the property you’re applying for and rent it out to tenants, you can qualify for a grant of up to £5,000 for biomass boilers through the BUS.
  • Low-income tenants in privately rented homes can qualify for free support through ECO4 to replace inefficient or broken boilers.
  • Only a privately renting tenant can apply for boiler grants through ECO4.
  • Private tenants who don’t receive benefits can qualify for a boiler grant through ECO4 Flex.
  • If you live in Scotland, you can access up to £15,000 in funding, which consists of a £7,500 grant plus an optional £7,500 loan for a biomass boiler through Home Energy Scotland.

Which Boiler Grants For Landlords Are Available?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

The BUS scheme provides upfront capital grants to encourage property owners to replace existing fossil fuel heating systems with low-carbon, more efficient heating systems.

If you own the property you’re applying for and rent it out to tenants, you can qualify for a grant of up to £5,000 for biomass boilers through the BUS.

You must replace fossil fuel heating systems, such as oil, gas, electric, or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) boilers.

The scheme opened in 2022 and will continue until 2025, with a £450m funding confirmed for the three years.

Who Qualifies for A Boiler Grant Under BUS?

You can qualify for a new boiler grant under BUS if:

  • You own the property you’re applying for, including a second home, business, or rental property.
  • Your property is rural and not connected to the gas grid.
  • Your property has no outstanding insulation recommendations and has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Changes to the grant eligibility rules allow you to qualify even with recommendations from May 2024.
  • You have an emissions certificate for your boiler showing you keep polluting emissions to a minimum.
  • You have a property with an installation capacity of up to 45kWth.
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Social houses, most newly built properties, and governments already funded by the government for a heat pump or biomass boiler don’t qualify for a grant under BUS.

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO4) Scheme

The Energy Companies Obligations (ECO4) scheme, now in its fourth iteration, aims to improve the least energy-efficient housing stock occupied by low-income and vulnerable households.

ECO4 aims to address fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. It obligates big energy suppliers to install energy-efficient measures, including boilers, in homes in the UK.

According to government guidance, low-income tenants in privately rented homes can qualify for support.

The scheme can help private tenants to replace old or inefficient boilers for free.

In addition, if your property has never had central heating like radiators and boilers, you can qualify for funding for First Time Central Heating (FTCH) if you or your tenant have a qualifying benefit.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Boiler Grants for Landlords Under ECO4?

If you are a landlord, you must consider whether your tenant is eligible, rather than your own status. You must cooperate with your tenant to acquire the boiler grant.

The eligibility will depend on the tenant and the property and includes the following:

  • The applicant must be a private tenant renting the privately owned property. Government-owned property, council-owned properties, housing association homes, or other local authority-run social housing are not eligible for the scheme.
  • The property must be connected to the national gas supply grid. The ECO4 scheme doesn’t include the installation of LPG gas, biomass, and oil boilers.
  • The boiler in the property must be at least eight years old. If the boiler has a fault affecting its operation and efficiency or is broken, it can be 5 to 8 years old.
  • The property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below.
  • The tenant receives certain means-tested benefits.

What Types of Benefits Are Accepted?

The majority of grants are aimed at assisting low-income households. Therefore, the tenant must receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)
  • Child Benefit*– depending on income threshold

What Are The Income Thresholds?

To be entitled to the ECO grant funding for a new boiler under Child Benefits, the tenant must also fall within any of the following income thresholds:

If claiming as a couple:

Number of ChildrenIncome Threshold
Four or More£41,700

If claiming as a single parent:

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Number of ChildrenIncome Threshold
Four or More£34,200

Can Landlords Apply For Boiler Grants Under ECO4?

No. Only a privately renting tenant can apply for boiler grants through ECO4.

If you’re a landlord and think your tenant meets this criterion, it’s worth contacting them to see if they would be interested, as the application has to come from them.

To apply, they must prove they have your consent by filling out an ECO3 Private Housing FTCH declaration form, which will require some details from you about the properties you own.

These can include details like the current boiler’s age, make, and model.

Landlords must also give tenants a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they move in. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (best) to G (worst) and is valid for 10 years.

Can You Qualify For A Boiler Grant If You Don’t Recieve Benefits?

Yes. If tenants don’t receive benefits, they can qualify for a boiler grant through ECO4 Flex.

It allows local authorities to refer private tenant households that it considers to live in fuel poverty or on a low income and are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.

The government allows up to 50% of the ECO target to be met under ECO4 Flex. Local authorities can play a vital role in helping target low-income households not receiving one of the qualifying eligible benefits.

ECO4 Flex allows your tenant to qualify through the following routes:

  • Route 1 (Low household income): An annual household income under £31,000.
  • Route 2 (NHS Referrals): This route is for people with health issues exacerbated by living in a cold home. These include cardiovascular, respiratory, and mobility problems and those with immune-suppressed conditions.
  • Route 3 (Proxy Targeting): A household in Energy bands E, F, or G and meeting any two of the following criteria:
  • The home is in the LSOA 1-3 area.
  • The householder receives a Council Tax rebate based on low income only.
  • The householder is vulnerable to living in a cold home, as identified in the NICE Guidance.
  • The Local Authority scheme, which aims to support vulnerable and low-income households, has referred the householder.
  • Household members get free meals in school.
  • The household struggles with sustained debt on mortgage payments and utility bills. The mortgage lender, the energy supplier, or Citizens Advice has advised the household to seek support from the local authority.

Home Energy Scotland

Home Energy Scotland offers grant funding, interest-free loans, or a combination of both to help homeowners and self-builders in Scotland install renewable systems like biomass boilers.

Upon proving that a heat pump is unsuitable for your property, you can access up to £15,000 in funding, which consists of a £7,500 grant plus an optional £7,500 loan.

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The grant rises to £9,000 if you live in a rural or island home.

What Regulations Affect Boiler Grants For Landlords?

The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties.

Since April 2020, landlords can’t let or continue to let properties with an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption.

If the property currently has an EPC rating of F or G, you must improve it to E immediately before entering into a new tenancy.

It can include taking actions like improving loft insulation and cavity wall insulation to improve the EPC.

If the local authority determines that you’ve rented out a house in breach of the regulations, you can be fined up to £5,000 and have the details of the breach published.

Check out our video on how to vet boiler brands/models in the UK:

Are you wondering which boiler manufacturers performed best? Check out our best boiler brands guide for the full rundown, and if you are trying to determine who the best boiler installation company is, check out our Warmzilla and Boxt reviews.

What Are The Benefits of Boiler Grants For Landlords?

A new energy-efficiency boiler can provide various benefits:

  • It helps you save money on changes you’ll need to make. The law requires landlords to consider requests to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.
  • An efficient boiler will help improve the property’s EPC rating. Regulations require landlords to improve the house’s EPC rating to at least E before they start or continue to let it.
  • Having a new, A-rated, efficient boiler is attractive to new tenants as more people seek greener homes that are cheaper to keep warm.
  • A new boiler gives the landlord peace of mind since it’s less likely to break down or require expensive repairs.
  • A new boiler can help reduce the property’s carbon footprint, contributing to sustainability goals of reaching net zero.

What Documentation Do You Need For Boiler Grants?

Having the necessary documentation makes it easier to determine eligibility and increases the chances of qualifying for boiler grants for landlords. These include:

  • Proof of income
  • Proof of qualifying benefit
  • The tenancy agreement
  • The Energy Performance Certificate
  • Details about the landlord

Boiler Grants For Landlords Conclusion

Many schemes can benefit tenants and landlords regarding boiler replacement and home efficiency.

Since tenants do not own the home, they are not legally responsible for any repairs or replacements that may need to be undertaken but are impacted by rising heating bills and an unreliable boiler system.

In the case of an issue with a boiler, landlords should make it clear that they are to be contacted by tenants as quickly as possible to rectify the problem.

Sources and References