More landlords of the draughtiest homes in England and Wales will be required to upgrade their properties after amendments to regulations requiring landlords to install energy efficiency measures was announced by the government yesterday.
Since April this year, new rules have been in place across England and Wales, setting out minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES).
These regulations made it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018, unless the property is registered as an exemption.
Owners of the draughtiest homes – those rated in the worst energy bands, F and G – have been required since April to upgrade them to band E or be barred from agreeing new tenancies.
The government previously proposed that landlords who faced costs exceeding £2,500 for putting in new insulation and other measures would be exempt from making the upgrades.
However, the government announced yesterday that it is lifting the cap to £3,500, meaning fewer owners would be exempt.
The changes mean that next year properties with an EPC rating of F or G, the lowest two ratings available, must be made warmer by landlords before they can be put on the rental market for new tenancies.
This is expected to cost £1,200 on average, according to the government.
These changes are expected to save households an average of £180 a year while reducing carbon emissions.
Energy minister Claire Perry said: “While the vast majority of landlords take great pride in the properties they own, a minority still rent out housing that is difficult to keep warm.
“Upgrading these homes so they are more energy efficient is one of the most effective ways to tackle fuel poverty and help bring down bills for their tenants, saving them £180 a year.
“Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home and today’s announcement will bring this reality closer.”