Generation Rent and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have jointly slammed landlords who do not improve the EPCs of their private rental properties - and has condemned the government for making the situation worse.
Strict new targets for energy efficiency in the private rental sector were revealed in 2021, demanding that EPC ratings achieve C or better by 2025 and existing tenancies complying by 2028.
But these proposals were scrapped in September as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s review of green policies, which included an overhaul of measures designed to meet net zero targets.
Sadiq Khan’s office claims that the English Housing Survey shows 494,000 private rental properties currently have an EPC rating of band D or below in London.
Combining analysis of the English Housing Survey with national data on energy consumption and current energy prices, Khan claims that London rented homes rated D or lower cost an average of £337 a year extra to heat compared to homes rated C or above.
Khan’s analysis is supported by Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, who says: “The Prime Minister’s cancellation of plans to raise minimum energy efficiency standards means that landlords now have no obligation to agree to any insulation works, even if they are funded by government grants. This reckless political choice is leaving more tenants suffering in cold and draughty homes that are damaging our health and draining our wallets.
“Tenants in draughty homes currently pay hundreds of pounds more per year than they would if their home was insulated properly. Our research shows that three in ten renters are discouraged from applying for grants because of the expectation that their landlord will refuse them.
“With rents through the roof and private tenants facing this premium on our energy bills, we share the Mayor of London's call for the Government to stand by its old promises and demand that landlords improve poor quality homes.”
And Khan himself adds: “The situation for many renters in London and across the country is increasingly bleak, with rents soaring and other costs increasing. A key thing ministers could have done is helped renters with energy efficiency. Scrapping plans for tougher standards is frankly shameful, and will just lead to even higher bills.
“Actively deciding to condemn thousands of renters to draughty, inefficient, expensive homes is letting down renters, and this is on top of delays to banning so-called ‘no fault evictions’.
“Ministers should give cities like London the powers to freeze rents, but also urgently reinstate plans to ensure every renter lives in an energy efficient home.”
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