Landlords Forced To Improve Older Properties
22nd December 2014
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Landlords who rent out older properties may be forced to improve their energy efficiency under proposals currently being considered by government.

From 2018 all rented properties must be at least category E on the Energy Performance Certificate efficiency scale, so any which are currently rated F or G will require improvement. Also under the proposals from April 2016 tenants will be given the right to request consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements, with landlords only able to refuse 'unreasonable' requests.

However landlords are not expected to pay for all of these measures, and will not be obliged to make improvements unless there is a grant available under the Green Deal finance initiative or other government funding scheme.

Figures show one in ten privately rented homes currently fall into the lowest energy efficiency categories, usually homes built before the 1930s. Up to 40% of these could be boosted to the acceptable standard simply by installing loft insulation, but that still leaves many which are harder to treat.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates it costs around £1200 more to heat a G-rated home than the average home, and £700 more for F-rated, so the savings to tenants can be very significant.

The government recently relaunched the scheme set up to pay for these improvements, Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, to which both landlords and tenants can apply for grants to pay for draught-proofing, double glazing, roof and wall insulation, and new energy-efficient boilers. Much of the money was allocated immediately but if there’s any left you can read about how to apply here at the Government site or read the "mythbuster" page at MoneySavingExpert

One issue highlighted by the research into these proposals is that only 19% of tenants have seen the energy efficiency certificate for their property, despite this being a legal requirement.

In the consultation paper, the Government states: “Improving the energy efficiency of needlessly cold and draughty homes in the private rented sector will enhance the quality of living and cut the energy bills for the millions of people who rent their homes.”

It seems that these proposals will be brought in and landlords will be expected to cooperate with tenants to improve the energy ratings of their older properties.

It remains to be seen whether there will be any money left in the Green Deal pot to pay for the improvements, or whether in fact the burden of paying for the improvements will be passed onto landlords in the end.

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Carly B

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