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New eco-clampdown on landlords announced by government

The government has today announced a new cash injection for councils to clampdown on landlords whose properties fail to meet energy efficiency standards. 

Some 59 local authorities are to get extra funding - one is to use the money to get a drone to spy on rental properties' thermal efficiency.

Since April last year privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E, making it illegal to rent out homes below that unless landlords have a limited exemption. 


Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined of up to £5,000 per property and per breach.

The £4.3m of extra funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to councils across the country is designed to support them make an extra 100,000 ‘engagements’ with the most difficult to reach landlords with the worst performing properties.

The money will fund local radio ads, roadshows and workshops with landlords to raise awareness of the rules, free property surveys, as well as enhanced and targeted mail reminders and translation services to reach those not currently complying. 

One council says it will invest in a drone with thermal imaging capacity to help with on the ground inspections.

Business and Energy Minister, Lord Callanan, says: “This funding will help councils to support landlords with these important energy efficiency changes, but also enforce these standards, helping tackle fuel poverty and ensuring everyone can live in a warm home with fair energy bills.

“Heating our homes and buildings makes up almost a third of all carbon emissions, meaning raising the energy efficiency of our properties is something we all have to contribute to help us build back greener and reach our world leading climate ambitions."

In support of the move, the deputy leader of Darlington Council, Jonathan Dulston, says: “We know that the vast majority of private landlords stick to the rules and provide good accommodation, but we are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who do not care about their tenants or the standard of their properties.

“These new powers will improve the energy efficiency standards of private rented homes both here in Darlington and across the country, which will in turn improve residents’ health, ensuring people do not live in homes that are cold and damp.”

The government has also announced a £10m fund for home owners - including landlords - “to develop world-class energy efficiency products and green finance services.”

The government says this initiative, called the Green Home Finance programme - will “equip homeowners with new options to decarbonise their homes in a more cost-effective way.”

This is likely to include piloting new versions of heat pumps, glazing and insulation, as well as ‘green finance services’ such as green mortgages and green equity releases.

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  • icon

    Surely a quick look at the EPC Register is a cheaper way of seeing whether a house is compliant than using a drone! The information is already freely available it just needs someone to cross reference it with rented property address. No-one wastes money like local Govt!

  • girish mehta

    Waste of money, use of sledgehammer to crack a nut. Another clueless politicians wasting taxpayer money looking for news line and quick fix

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Awe, isn't this sweet of the Government ! ...
    “This funding will 'help councils to support landlords' with these important energy efficiency changes, ... "

    I'm sure Landlords will sleep better knowing that Councils are using Tax-payers money to spy on them from the sky !

  • icon

    As Tricia said, check the EPC register, but then the Government don’t have anyone bright enough to think of this.
    Bunch of idiots!.

  • icon

    Yes again - check the EPC register and council tax register - you have all the information already available!


    our useless chancellor has found the magic money tree?

  • icon

    I don’t know what initiative they are on about. We have to provide the information for licensing and not allow to Let without the correct EPC. They must want us out bad, its the 3m LL properties are being attacked so the other 22m properties are not subject to the same Laws.

  • George Dawes

    Just wait a few years as they move the goalposts , all following the agenda ....

  • icon

    If the EPC assessments were in any way accurate rather than being full of assumptions I would agree with the above comments.
    However, the reality is that assumptions are made and change from one EPC to the next.
    An ex Council House we own has a flat roof which the Council replaced at some point before my husband bought it. The EPC 10 years ago assumed it was insulated. The one this year assumes it's uninsulated. We don't know which assumption is correct and the Council don't seem to know either.
    If the roof is uninsulated the house is D. If it's insulated it's C.
    A thermal imaging drone should resolve that specific situation.


    If you need to prove it is insulated you perhaps need to hire your own thermal imaging drone. The Council are only going to use theirs to catch people out - not help LLs!

    Alternatively drill a small hole in the ceiling and see what is there - that's how I discovered my floors are insulated when they EPC assumed they were not!

  • icon

    When is it going to be realised that the only thing that is true about energy conservation is the first three letters, it is all a CON! I would like to do my bit to save the planet and the cost of heating my HMOs and I have tried nearly every conservation measure and it makes no difference to the amount of energy used in the HMO. I know this because I monitor the gas and electric used in my HMOs every week. I started with energy-efficient boilers and they use the same amount of gas as the old 30-year-old so-called inefficient boiler they replaced except they are far more unreliable and much more expensive to fix. The same happens with every other conservation measure I have tried in my HMOs, there is no change in the energy used in the HMO .

    The only way I can find to reduce energy usage in my HMOs is to fit prepay electric meters into each room and this cuts the electric used by the tenants by up to 50% .

    Even the concept of an EPC is questionable. The objective of an EPC is to reduce a persons carbon footprint . Apparently each individual uses six tons of carbon per year.. Considering I turn a two bed property into a five bed HMO and it cost pretty well the same to heat the property for five people as it did for the person who was living in the house previously so my tenants carbon footprint when it comes to heating the property is 20% of the previous occupiers. Where is this massive saving factored in an EPC?

    Instead I am with some councils bullied by them and told I am an exploitative landlord and needs to be vigourously enforced against. It is a funny world!

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

  • icon

    why are politicians so effing dumb? is it the qualification required?

    worst performing properties are in public sector--army accommodation in particular

    we need muuuuany fewer public sector parasites

    quangos cost more per year than the wasteful NHS!!!

  • Theodor Cable

    They are naturally born like that.....
    Blame their parents..

  • icon

    The comment above regarding the poor state of the public sector properties is spot on, but by pure chance the soon to be revised EPC of C does not affect councils and housing associations, strange that.


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