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Government tells landlords: Pass on energy rebate to tenants

The government has repeated its demand that landlords pass on energy rebates to tenants.

A written parliamentary question on this issue was submitted by Scottish National Party MP Owen Thompson.

He wanted to know whether the government expected landlords who include tenants' energy costs in their rental charges to pass on the rebate, and whether the government would provide a means of redress for tenants in case that credit is not passed on to them.


About 20m households in council tax bands A to D – including an estimated 95 per cent of rented properties – will receive £150 rebates under the government’s £3 billion council tax scheme.

However, some tenants in HMOs make a once-a-month all-inclusive payment to their landlords covering - amongst other things - council tax.

Energy minister Greg Hands replied: “Landlords who have a domestic electricity contract with an electricity supplier and resell the electricity to their tenants based on energy usage may be required to comply with the maximum resale price rules. 

“The MRP for electricity is currently set as the same price as that paid by the person reselling it. 

“Under these circumstances, the Government expect landlords to pass on the discount received through tenants.

“Landlords with a domestic electricity connection who charge ‘all inclusive’ rent, where a fixed cost for energy costs are included in their rental charges, are strongly encouraged to pass on the discount to their tenants.”

Hands appears to have ignored the element of the question relating to redress.

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    I include Council Tax, gas, electric, broadband, and water in the rent in my HMOs.
    My local Council sent a letter last week to say that to claim the £150 Council Tax rebate the person had to be living in the property and be named on the Council Tax bill on the 1st April. So none of mine will receive a penny. Had they mentioned the requirement to be named prior to 1st April we could have sorted that but to tell us 10 weeks too late totally discriminates against HMO tenants and landlords.

    The £400 off the electric is a drop in the ocean compared to how much utilities have increased since all the small companies went bust last year. None of my existing HMO tenants have had a rent increase since moving in (which in some cases is over 5 years ago) so I have largely absorbed the increased costs. Obviously as rooms become vacant those rents are set at current market rent.
    If there is a requirement to hand the £400 over to each household there will be a very strong incentive to have an inflation linked rent increase alongside it for any tenant who has been in for over a year. For a 5 person HMO that would equate to giving the tenants a one off £80 per person and increasing the rent by about £45 a month. That would still leave the rent at a lower level than market rent for those rooms so the argument that I'd loose loads of money with lengthy voids doesn't really work. There is a bit of a rental crisis at the moment and I had 74 applicants for a room in an HMO last weekend.

    Activists need to be very careful of unintended consequences on this one.

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    Just another ridiculous virtue signalling moron, who wants to score popularity points by demanding free money for tenants. They’ll be demanding landlords with a day job, pass on their pay rises next.

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    I heard a Student leader complain that students don't get the £150 Council Tax rebate although they're exempt from Council Tax! He thinks that is somehow unfair!

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    Well fine, as long as landlords can increase the charges passed on to tenants in line with actual increases in bills, then fair enough to pass on any rebates. However as most landlords won't be doing that, then they are bearing the additional cost, and should therefore receive the rebate.


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