A west country council is the latest to launch an initiative aimed at helping landlords meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.
A support package from West Devon council includes grants to help landlords improve the energy efficiency of their property so they meet a minimum EPC rating of E. Ways to improve the energy efficiency of homes can include draught proofing, roof and wall insulation or replacement heating systems.
The council - in partnership with Tamar Energy Community - will work with landlords to meet the new standards but will investigate those that do not.
Landlords should also expect that minimum energy efficiency standards will become higher than the current minimum standard. There is an expectation from government that all domestic properties should be aiming to achieve at least a C rating by 2030 to reach climate targets.
Other support to help landlords also includes West Devon council’s so-called ‘ethical lettings service’ called SeaMoor Lettings. This service claims to offer lower charges to landlords than standard lettings agents with the aim of achieving more affordable rents to local families.
Council housing chief Tony Leech says:: "The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards outline what landlords need to do to ensure their tenants have a quality home. We've now secured government funding to help us to help landlords to meet these standards and improve their properties for the benefit of their tenants.
"Whether landlords need a loan or a grant to improve anything from insulation to more energy efficient heating, it's the tenants who will benefit from a more comfortable home that is cheaper to keep warm. We hope that this attractive package may also help to encourage landlords to offer much needed longer-term rentals following last summer where we have seen some landlords switch to short-term lets.
"We'll be working closely with Tamar Energy Community and getting in touch with landlords to let them know more about the standards and how we can help them to improve.
"There are approximately 700 properties in our area that may not meet the minimum standards, and is it hoped that where possible, landlords will use this opportunity to bring their housing stock up to the higher standards, which the Government will be looking for in the near future.”
The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties. Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
If a landlord is currently letting a property or planning on letting with an EPC rating of F or G, and has not already taken action, they must improve the property's rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.
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