More than half of tenants that were surveyed claim that they are being forced to live in cold and draughty rental homes because their landlords have refused requests to make energy efficiency improvements, according to a new report.
The study, conducted by online letting agent PropertyLetByUs.com, also shows that 70% of the 500 tenants surveyed last month have made requests to their landlord to make improvements to the property, with a new boiler and double glazing top of their wish lists.
From 1 April 2016, tenants living in F and G rated homes have been able to request improvements, such as more insulation and landlords are legally bound to bring the property up to the minimum of EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] E rating. Under the new legislation, if a tenant requests a more efficient home and the landlord fails to comply, the landlord could ultimately be forced to pay a penalty notice.
PropertyLetByUs.com estimate that more than 10m British families, based on EU data, currently reside in a home with a leaking roof, damp walls or rotting windows.
Damp, condensation and mould is particularly a big problem in many rental properties as a result of older, single glazed homes, according to Jane Morris, managing director of PropertyLetByUs.com.
She commented: “It is very disappointing to see that so many tenants have been refused when they have requested their landlords make improvements to the property. Landlords that are trying to rent cold, draughty and damp accommodation should immediately start improving their properties. Otherwise, they could be falling foul of the legislation that requires them to bring their properties up to an E rating.
“It is estimated that around one million tenants are paying as much as £1,000 a year more for heating than the average annual bill of £1,265. These excessive costs are mainly down to poorly insulated homes, many of which are thought to be the oldest and leakiest rental properties in Europe.
“Landlords that are currently renting out F and G rated properties should be looking at the improvements they can make and researching costs and available help, through the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) or Home Energy Scotland.”