A council is threatening to fine private landlords whose properties do not meet energy efficiency standards.
Darlington council’s cabinet will meet next week to decide whether to issue civic penalties against landlords who refuse to improve their properties to meet the minimum national energy efficiency standards.
More than 250 private rented properties in Darlington have been identified as having an EPC rating of F or G. If the landlords fail to improve their properties, they could be fined up to £5,000.
If the cabinet agrees to use the new powers, the council will advise the offending landlords that they are committing an offence. They will be told about energy efficient grants which could help them improve their properties and given 14 days to show either the work has been done or is planned.
If action is not taken, the council will investigate and a penalty notice of up to £5,000 could be issued.
“Fines may be issued without warning against landlords who have a history of not complying with housing regulations” says a statement from the council.
Jonathan Dulston, deputy council leader and cabinet member for communities, says: “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 which will in turn improve residents’ health, ensuring people do not live in homes that are cold and damp.
“It will also help reduce fuel bills and alleviate fuel poverty and will contribute to the council’s housing and climate change strategies.
“The message is clear - private landlords need to do the right thing and make sure their properties meet the minimum standards at the very least.”
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