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Council clampdown on landlords with poor energy efficiency

Landlords in a county in England may be issued with a Compliance Notice as part of a clampdown to improve the energy efficiency of the worst-performing privately rented homes.

From April 2020 it became an offence for landlords of any domestic private rented property to grant a new tenancy or continue to let any property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E, unless the landlord is exempt.

Shropshire council has been contacting landlords who have properties that do not meet the minimum energy efficient standards, to ensure they make improvements to their properties to reach the minimum rating or direct them to apply for an exemption.

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The council is investigating any potential breaches of the MEES regulations, and enforcement action will be considered against landlords that fail to bring their property up to the required standard.

Where it appears a property has been let in breach of the regulations or an invalid exemption has been registered, the council may issue a compliance notice requesting further information. 

If a breach is confirmed, the landlord may receive a financial penalty of up to £5,000. 

A spokesperson from the council says: “Improving energy efficiency in any property – rented or otherwise – is more important than ever, as we all face higher utility bills. 

“Reducing heat loss through better insulation and installing more energy efficient and low carbon heating and lighting will not only help to significantly reduce energy bills, but will also reduce carbon emissions, which is vitally important if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We know most landlords are responsible and are willing to comply with their obligations to ensure tenants have warm homes that are not cold and damp, which will help to improve their health and wellbeing; but we will not hesitate to take action against those landlords who breach the rules.

“Those in breach of the regulations can face a fine of up to £5,000, and I would encourage landlords to ensure their properties comply under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards legislation to avoid formal action and a potential fine.”

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    I haven't got a problem with this and nor do any of the other commercial and residential landlords that I do business with. It's not as if the Government hasn't given us enough notice. The MEES Regs came out in 2015. I think 8 years, to make the most energy wasteful houses and flats in the UK a bit better, isn't asking much. I really pity the landlords who have chosen to bury their heads in the sand about this and have decided not to invest back into their assets to make them fit-for-purpose. Their tenants must now all be living in extreme fuel poverty and have no money to pay for any rent increases for many years to come. That's a very poor business model for those landlords who say unintelligent things such as 'my tenant can put on a jumper'. These landlords are having their wealth removed from them by legislation, but more rapidly by the market. If you read/watch any books/videos on Warren Buffet you quickly realise that he went from well-off to super-wealthy when he changed to investing in high quality companies. Same with property, only a fool would invest their time and capital in an energy wasteful, poor quality rental house or flat. It doesn't have to be like this. All landlords have to do is hire an energy assessor to prepare a decent draft 'as is' EPC and then work with them to prepare a draft 'predicted' EPC that delivers them a Grade C. Invest in the improvements and they will have a property that their tenant can actually afford to heat next winter. That's what I've done and so have all the other landlords I know. In fact some did it years ago and now have portfolios of decent long-term assets with EPCs of Grade C and B.

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    I don't think any sensible person would have an issue with improving a property's fuel efficiency.
    What people do have a problem with is lack of certainty and an ever changing playing field.
    If net zero is a serious goal then why aren't all properties facing the same rules? Why target the PRS only?
    If the new target should be a C, why isn't it already law? Why don't we have clear guidelines today so that any spend will count towards a cap on spending from now?
    My EPC assessor has been telling me for quite a while they're expecting an update to the model. Any 'whatif' analysis done today might be meaningless in a year. Unless you do a complete full refurb and aim for an A, how can anyone plan?

     
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    What is unintelligent about "heat the human, not the house"? I always put on an extra jumper before turning up the heating so don't see why my tenants can't do the same. If they can no longer afford to heat my property properly, which are fully compliant with all regulations, I will readily agree to them moving out as early as they want to do so.

    I will also consider any self funded or tenant funded proposals to go beyond current regulations.

    Given the much larger numbers of private owner occupied and social rental properties, I am not minded to go beyond current regulations until these properties have to be as energy efficient and green as my rental properties currently are.

     
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    Why is this a news story, surely the point of legislation in enforcement. This is why so many landlords are frustrated, reams of legislation no enforcement and when there is its a news story!?

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    Fair enough, the regs are there, the landlords knew about it… it’s the move to C which will be the game changer 🤔🤔. Then it’s sell up time.

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    This. I have a D property that to make a C would mean removing the tenants to do the work. If I have turfed them out I might as well sell it and take the £200,000 equity as the work required is a stupid cost for the potential saving (currently a 200 year pay back period).

     
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    Clare, I think there is plenty of very severe enforcement placed on Private landlords.
    Just look at the Huge Fines, Penalties and Rent Repayment Orders.

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    Martin, ok I get the drift we’ll all stick one piece of Perspex plastic over the complete windows like you previously said.
    The fuel poverty is more to do with to the War in Ukraine so don’t go blame PRS for that.

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    EPC’s were introduced 16 years ago and I have all since then including some ‘C’s and renewed again, not mees doing 8 years ago goody and I don’t need anyone’s pity's.

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    Hmmm I wonder how good the council o rd are though?? R they getting the same in-depth scrutiny

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    So if landlords didn’t have the Removing S.21 making their Business unviable.
    S.24 to Bankrupt them.
    Extra Stamp Duty to make purchases unaffordable.
    HMO licensing costing thousands per property to comply.
    EPC’s would be more financially affordable.
    Computerisation was the worst thing to happen in my lifetime and behind many of those rules or they wouldn’t exist.
    Incidentally Computers also added another 2m to the Obesity numbers just sitting there, now I must get on with my day I have things to do, good morning.

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    I have 1 house with an F and an exemption, 2 happy long term tenants in there on a low rent, when the time comes I shall very reluctantly be evicting them on to the streets, I will not be spending any money on that property, it'll go in to auction with a very low reserve

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    Sensible decision.

     
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    So when you get to C what next A then A+. after that the german passivehaus standard zero carbon
    Only new builds will comply ,you will be unable to rent councils will acquire/confiscate your property in the public interest they will of course be exempt from energy standards
    Don't we get it yet this is a war on all private property ownership

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    It seems to be only the prs that is targeted as there are too many owner occupiers to risk upsetting them, tackling social housing is too expensive and private tenants don't realise that they will be footing the bill!

     
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    Of all the things the council doesn't have money to do properly, it's surprising they have money for this!

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