By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Council threat to landlords - Go Green or we’ll fine you

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.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    This is just the beginning .... epc = destruction of the prs

  • icon

    Anything that improves the tenants lot I support, unfortunately the deputy Council leader Jonathan Dulstan has made a logical flaw when he states 'It will help reduce fuel bills ...' I had over 100 HMOs where I paid for the heating and fitted new energy-efficient boilers, insulation,double glazing and none of them have saved a penny in fuel costs. I do agree that insulation and double glazing does make the property more comfortable and may help reduce damp. When I brought in an energy consultant who assured me he would save me money I gave him the figures and his response after five days of surveying was he could not understand it and stated 'the book says I should save money '. It appears that he had set himself up as a consultant but never test driven the results . It's all supposition which seems logical ie if you insulate the house it should save money. With energy conservation my experience and I would love to be proved wrong is logic and results do not work together. The only thing that is correct about energy conservation is the first three letters it is all a 'con'.

    I have had many arguments with other landlords over this who boast to me about their energy efficiency measures but when I ask them for facts and figures there are none. All I get is bluster like, 'Of course it saves money' or 'the advertising says I will save money'. There is never any measurement of the energy used pre-and post installation .

    EPC stands for Evermore Pointless Crap!
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO daddy


    Hi Jim, I will not argue with you. I have had 3 new boilers in properties where i either live or let and pay the bills. Savings if any were negligible. Properties were already well insulated and had double glazing. Old boilers i was told would be lucky if they were 60% efficient and the new ones over 90% efficient, therefore circa 30% savings. Not a chance.
    I would love an explanation too.

  • icon

    Every property should be able to attain an EPC E relatively easily and LLs should be required to fit the really pretty basic measures required - loft insulation, LED bulbs, double glazing, decent boiler. But after that it gets more difficult. Most properties need wall insulation and possibly floor insulation to get to the proposed level of C and this is too expensive, too disruptive and too unproven to mandate for in law.

    Add to this the Govts mixed messages on heat pumps - unsuitable for most properties, gas - supposedly being phased out and electricity - trashes an EPC because of cost, a quarter of which is green subsidies even though much of electricity is now clean and green.

    We need a coherent, affordable solution to decarbonising heating. Let’s start by taking the tax off clean green electricity!

  • John Ahmed

    Another money raising scheme.
    That will have a limited positive effect overall.

  • icon

    It is not obvious to me how Victorian city centres will manage to become EPC C by mid-2020s and B by 2030, per expected Govt goals. Hopefully new technology and better ways of assessing the impact, will emerge in a needs driven or innovation driven fashion. It is not the Energy consumption that matters most, it is the *emissions* (CO2 secondary to fossil fuel burning), though at present the first proxies the second. Also, on a per capita basis, I'd surmise that HMOs and probably rental properties generally are quite energy efficient due to higher people density - the empty nest, not energy upgrading , larger owner-occupied homes, might be burning a lot more gas? I am not an expert but wonder whether the present strategies have robust supporting evidence? I am certainly not persuaded that the present 'tick box' EPC evaluation software is sufficient, nor thresholding where quantitative scales could be used. The actual gas usage for example, esp per capita gas usage, is very relevant. Ultimately green electric should predominate. While upgrading a property from F or G to E should be quite simple and expected, getting older buildings up to B currently implies capital expenses which most landlords and private owners could not absorb into running costs.

  • icon

    Presumably the same standards and penalties will also be applied to regular private home owners.

  • George Dawes

    They’ll move the goalposts to b then a , it will be impossible to ‘improve’ 90% of the uk housing stock so it’ll essentially become worthless , they’ll take it off your hands , demolish it and build back better

    Tiny little rabbit hutches , Barratt are actually building them now !

    They’ll own everything and you won’t be happy

  • icon

    I am all for improving housing and always have had better quality housing before any of those Regulations. However, it was much more affordable before dishonest Councils, regulators & law makers got involved raided the finances of the private rented sector to line their own pockets and prioritise the people milking the system blind. They ignored the fact that we had to buy the property, maintained it and provide the service to house Tenants at no cost whatsoever to the Government who say there’s a shortage but for this we are heavily taxed on the income with very little allowable expenses, targeted and classed as rogues LL’s, invariably Councillors always refer to LL’s as Rogue Landlords.

  • icon

    There is very little correlation between EPC ratings and energy bills. It's far more down to the willingness of the tenants to engage with understanding the heating controls and the importance of ventilation.
    A property I have with an EPC of E with a night storage heater in the hallway, an old gas fire in the lounge and electric (timed and thermostatic) heaters in bedrooms and bathrooms has far lower bills than some of my EPC B rated properties. That's purely because the tenants understand how best to use the various different heat sources to best effect.

  • icon

    The powers that be are very fond of using the phrase "level playing field" when it suits them. All properties, whether privately owned, in the PRS, social or council owned, emit CO2. So how about imposing these restrictions across the board in the interests of a "level playing field"?
    .... thought not.

  • icon

    I AM

  • George Dawes

    Quite agree . Paul

    Enjoy yourself while you can !

    They’ll be taxing air one day

  • George Dawes

    In over 20 years of letting shops and flats only the bank and solicitors ask about the stupid thing , no tenants ever ask or even know what an epc is !

    When I do show them they usually laugh and say what on earth is the point of that ?

  • icon

    UPTO £5k fine or clad the place, install an air-source heat pump and solar panels...??


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up