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Tenants must demand eco-improvements say rent activists

A rental activists’ campaign group wants tenancies reformed to allow tenants to claim back rent and “give tenants the confidence to ask for improvements” in the energy-efficiency of their homes.

Generation Rent - using a sample of just 51 tenants - says it has identified three barriers to private rental properties getting the energy improvements that the group demands.

These are firstly that renters don’t know enough about their properties to make informed requests for improvements. “Fewer than half knew if their walls were insulated. Energy Performance Certificates are legally required, but don’t have to be updated after installations, so can be up to 10 years out of date” complains the group.


Secondly it says the benefits of energy efficiency improvements are not clear to renters who are worried they won’t live in their home long enough or would be hit by rent increases after work is carried out. Generation Rent says “48 per cent of respondents [out of the survey of 51] were worried that the landlord would raise the rent.”

Thirdly, Generation Rent claims that “landlords will still often ignore tenants’ requests.” It goes on to state that 27 per cent of the 51 had asked for improvements but only “12 per cent” of the 51 reported that their landlord had made some or all of the requested works. “An expectation that the landlord would say no was the most common reason not to request improvements” says the campaign group.



Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of Generation Rent, says: “No one has much of an incentive to make rented homes greener – landlords are in control but don’t pay the bills, while renters won’t make demands if it means the rent might go up. 

“If the government is serious about reducing the carbon emissions from our homes, it must use a stick in the form of higher minimum standards for landlords, but also give renters a carrot in the form of stronger rights. 

“Renters who are more secure in their home and can claim back rent from an offending landlord will be able to enforce their rights to a warmer home and drive the green revolution.”

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    The more these lot GR Dan (double barrel) announce the more stupid they come across. They have no idea on this planet what they are asking tenants to demand. We all know that the coming EPC Level C will cause majority of us to sell up to owner occupiers.
    If any improvements were made at say example £10k of outlay is going & you went with unsecured lending thats £190 per month to find and you know where that's coming from. Unbelievably crass thinking. They like Shelter are harming the very people they claim to represent.


    Totally agree!

    Landlords are running businesses and need a return on investment, so I'm prepared to consider eco enhancements in return for higher rents. Tenants would be no worse off as their energy bills would be lower.

    If savings in energy costs don't match required increases in rents then tenants need to decide how much they're willing to pay for greener homes.

    Why should landlords foot this bill on behalf of others?


    Spot on Jahan. This will probably be the final straw for me.

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    • 05 March 2021 09:19 AM

    In other words, it will mean they are evicting their own people.......


    Their actions have effectively not only evicted but created increased cost for the tenant market

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    • 05 March 2021 09:38 AM

    And if I have to pay more, then guess who will end up paying for it?

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    Tenants demand Eco improvements, this article is rubbish they don't know what they are talking about. I don't believe EPC's can't be 10 years out of date, I have renewed original one's already as any other long term LL did after 10 years, any new LL that bought since will have got his EPC with the purchase. How can the Claim we didn't make any improvements I have replaced 4 Vaillant Boilers & controls, all Cavity Walls done, All Lofts 8" or 12"insulation, All double Glazing done, low Energy Bulbs like everyone else. Why didn't they ask 51 of my Tenants. Maybe head-line should read LL's should Demand Rent, (free Renting a great idea try Shelter the have £60m to play with).

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    I offered to top up the insulation in one of my properties to the recommended 270mm and the tenants said "No Thanks'!!


    I'd say the insulation is getting topped up. I dont give a choice, Its happening. The days of giving tenants additional say are long gone since the recent nonsense over last 5 years.

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    How can they generate such headlines with only 51 tenants interviewed? This is not a sample poll the insignificant number is laughable and shame on you LT for being ambushed by this incompetent shower.


    Probably surveyed many more but cherry picked 51 to suit their agenda. In 35 yrs of doing this not one tenant has not questioned the Epc or weather the house was insulated or green enough



    Totally agree ((again!). I've also found that more often than not when tenants move out, they haven't made any effort to switch away from the standard tariffs, despite average savings of up to £300 per annum per property.

    Indeed, with brand new cars leased on the never never, gym memberships, fancy phone contracts and expensive credit card monthly payments, the only monthly payment under scrutiny is the rent payment, with no recognition of the benefits of living in a safe home with no upfront stamp duty, estate agency or legal fees to be paid and no responsibility for dealing with unexpected repair bills and no long term commitment to maintain a six figure asset.

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    Although EPC's first introduced in 2008 (13 years) I always complied but never ask by the Tenant about this, more interested in the Proximity, Condition, Rent & size or outsize space.
    This was introduced following on from 2007 nonsense "Home Information Packs" where by you were supposed to tell the prospective Buyer everything that wrong with your property, putting the Seller at risk, had to be scrapped it was collapsing the economy.


    You won't be surprised that the SNP dictatorship hasn't listened and hasn't abandoned HIPs in Scotland.

    Our stamp duty equivalent is also much more expensive for all buyers with a 4% penalty for landlords.

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    An improved property earns an improved rent, simple.

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    Please explain why they 'must demand' these improvements. If the tenant is happy with the property and what they're paying for rent and utilities why should they be forced to rock the boat. Improvements cost money - and the tenants won't be paying for those improvements up front. They can, however, expect rents to go up for the landlord to recoup the money he's forked out to make the changes.

    Nothing in this life is free - to paraphrase the song lyrics - if it needs to be done someone has to pay. And a landlord isn't here to provide free board and lodging, he's* here to make a profit by supplying someone who can't/won't buy a property with somewhere to live.

    * other genders available to be substituted here according to preferences.


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