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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

More landlords to be forced to improve energy efficiency of their properties

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.”

Poll: Do you think the government should be more ambitious when it comes to the energy efficiency of rented housing?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • Neil Moores

    This year we took a flat off the market. It is a flat above a shop and the previous tenant had really liked living there because the rent was about 35% under market value. This reflected the lack of a wet central heating system, double glazing and various other matters which increased the cost of living there but not by anywhere near as much as the reduction in rent. We had bought the property a few years ago and have been trying to obtain planning permission to knock down the shop (and therefore the flat) and rebuild something modern and more practical. We are still fighting over planning so the property is sitting empty. A friend of the outgoing tenant desperately wanted to rent it from us as the rent was so cheap. We had to inform her that we were not legally allowed to rent it to her at all, even if the rent was halved, without doing works which would eventually be undone by demolition. I hope she found somewhere. She was very tight on cash and told me that she would prefer to make the decision herself as to whether to rent a cheaper property and be frugal with the fuel, or be forced to pay more rent for a property where she wouldn't have to make that decision but would never be able to afford in the first instance. Food for thought

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    Once they have done this, will they 'raise the bar higher' in the future, so that landlords with older properties are going to struggle to meet requirements?
    Just another imposition on private landlords and one wonders when this continual bombardment is going to end?
    It would be cheaper to reduce the rent by £180 than to carry out major refurbishment.

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    Eliminating "draughts" means eliminating natural ventilation which leads to increased condensation which leads to mould which then gets the landlord labelled as "rogue". Tenants rarely keep properties adequately heated and ventilated, usually insist on drying clothes indoors but won't take responsibility for any mould that results. The government's intervention is as usual missing the point and counter productive as the above two posts clearly demonstrate.

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    If the government want these properties improved then they should give a grant of 50% for those landlords that make the improvements and allow the landlord to claim for loss of rent whilst repairs were carried out.

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