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Landlords will pass ‘green tax’ onto tenants says RLA

Hundreds of thousands of buy-to-let landlords will be required to pay a ‘green tax’ of up to £2,500 per property upfront to meet new energy efficiency standards next year, rather than £5,000, under new government proposals.

However, tenants will be the real beneficiaries of the cut, as it means that landlords will simply pass lower costs on to them in the form of a less-than-expected hike in rents, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Many landlords have welcomed the government’s decision to slash the amount it expects landlords to pay for energy efficiency improvements where homes have to be brought up to a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E.

This requirement comes into force for new lets and tenancy renewals from April 2018 and for all residential lets from April 2020.

Initial government proposals were that landlords would be required to pay up to £5,000 per property upfront to meet new energy efficiency standards, but the limit has now been cut to £2,500.

However, rather than save landlords money, the RLA argues that this could help avert a new ‘green tax’ on tenants as costs get passed on to them in higher rents.

RLA policy consultant, Richard Jones, said: “The government has clearly listened to the RLA and cut in half the original cap on how much landlords would be expected to pay for energy efficiency improvements. This is welcome news for tenants as it will mean costs being kept down.” 

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    Referring to every new cost to landlords as a tax is getting not only predictable but rather tiresome now.
    There's no way anybody could reasonably construe the cost of improving a cold and substandard home as a tax, this is about making rental properties comfortable and affordable to live.
    I think the NLA have done a massive disservice to renters, landlords, and the country as a whole here, surely it costs what it costs to bring a property up to the required minimum standard in terms of energy efficiency. To start wetting themselves now about the potential improvement costs is frankly ridiculous given that we've known about this since the Energy Act 2011 was passed.
    The effect of having a £2500 cap is only going to keep sub standard properties in the rental market that no longer belong there, so long as the owner has made some token effort to improve it.
    No doubt the fact one third of MPs are landlords made it easier for the NLA to successfully lobby for a reduced cost cap, and turn what could have been something beneficial for the country into something rather quite feeble.

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