The respected engineering institution the Building Research Establishment says the government must row back from its recent U-turn on rental property eco-measures.
Last month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scrapped plans aimed at forcing landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties.
Although it had not officially become law, for years landlords have feared proposals to compel them to upgrade their rental properties to achieve an EPC rating of C or above by 2028, and in some cases earlier.
But now Gillian Charlesworth, chief executive of the Building Research Establishment, has slammed Sunak’s U-turn, which was recently reiterated in a letter to the Select Committee on Housing.
Charlesworth says: “The Government’s response to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee’s report on reform of the private rented sector recognises both the universal right to decent housing and the vital role local authorities play in determining standards and tackling issues with rogue landlords.
“With reports that the Government is rowing back on commitments which would require landlords to make energy efficiency improvements, the reality is that more homes will remain in EPC band F or G with local authorities unable to make improvements that would better the conditions for those living in privately-rented, poor quality homes.
“As shown by BRE’s latest research, the private rented sector is comprised of 619,000 homes in England which have a Category 1 hazard – a hazard which poses a serious and immediate risk to a person’s health and safety.
“If the Government is serious about making overdue improvements to this tenure, then it cannot afford to water down energy efficiency improvements which would provide tangible health and economic benefits for both private renters and wider society.”
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