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Generation Rent demands EPC change to Renters Reform Bill

Activist group Generation Rent is now demanding a change to the Renters Reform Bill to help tenants with energy bills.

The group claims five times as many homeowners have received energy efficiency grants than private renters, despite tenants allegedly being at much higher risk of fuel poverty.

Since 2010, fuel poverty has fallen by 35 per cent among homeowners and by 54 per cent among council tenants - but the activists say that amongst private renters it’s just four per cent.

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A statement from the group says: “Generation Rent is calling on the government to give private renters better protection from eviction and rent rises to ensure that they enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency funding and so have a stronger incentive to apply for grants.”

It continues to say that one in four private renters lives in fuel poverty, a higher rate than any other tenure. Although there are three times as many homeowners as private renters, the number in fuel poverty (1.33m) is only slightly larger than the number of private renters in fuel poverty (1.19m).

Energy efficiency measures that bring a home up to EPC Band C will lift a household out of fuel poverty.

However, Generation Rent complains that homeowners have enjoyed “the lion’s share of the grants” available to improve domestic energy efficiency.

And it states: “A major obstacle to take-up of grants in the private rented sector is poor security of tenure, which allows landlords whose properties are upgraded to raise the rent, cancelling out any energy bill savings, or evict the tenant in order to sell the improved property. 

“While the Renters (Reform) Bill aims to improve protection for tenants from arbitrary evictions, it will still allow these practices so tenants will still have little incentive to apply for a grant.”

 

So Generation Rent - which at the time of its introduction into Parliament supported the Bill - is now calling on the government to amend it “to protect tenants who receive an energy efficiency grant.”

It wants tenants who receive an energy efficiency grant to be protected from eviction for six years and not to be subject to any increase in rent as a result of grant-funded improvements.

“Landlords should also be required to raise the energy efficiency rating of their properties to C, to oblige them to accept grant-funded works to their property” says the group.

Dan Wilson Craw - the former deputy director of the group, now with the title of deputy chief executive - says: “This money is supposed to tackle fuel poverty, but is bypassing the people who need it the most. 

“There is understandable squeamishness about handing money to landlords who stand to make a profit, but the longer the grants system fails to work as it should, the longer tenants suffer and the further we are from meeting climate targets.

“With measures to make sure the financial benefit of grants goes to the tenant, by preventing evictions and rent increases arising from the home’s improvement, we can slash carbon emissions and jump-start improvements to renters’ living standards.”

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    “ It wants tenants who receive an energy efficiency grant to be protected from eviction for six years and not to be subject to any increase in rent as a result of grant-funded improvements.”

    Six years? Six? 🤦🏻‍♂️🆘🆘🆘

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    Laugh a minute these lot, 😂😂 each day that dawns brings more nonsense.

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    Every day there’s another laughable demand.

     
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    So glad you're able to laugh at these idiots. Wish I could too, but every time I read the almost daily posts I get heart palpitations and feel sick. Seriously...nearly sold my small portfolio now...can't wait to sign and get rid!

     
     G romit

    ..they have to keep dreaming up new ways to attack Landlords to justify their existence.

     
  • John  Bentley

    If you can't evict for six years after the improvements you simply won't have the improvements, how does that help anybody?: These people live in a fantasy world.

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    Landlords will have to not unreasonably withhold their consent. Don’t forget the RRB says tenants can make alterations 💩.

     
  • Peter Lewis

    Wrong, the primary reason for the Energy Efficiency Grant, it was introduced to improve the energy efficiency of a property and reduce carbon emission's that emit from heating homes in the UK. It was not introduced to reduce bills for consumers, if that was the case it would be simple to just increase benefits to the lower paid.

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    Spot on Peter. But the tenant will benefit as well . Like if insulate the loft the bills will be lower.

     
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    It’s the eighth wonder of the world how these so called charities ( Businesses) continue to cause so much harm to the sector. This results in so much pain and misery for those they profess to help with the low availability as landlords bail out. And by doing everything they can to add to our costs pushing up the rents. When will the public see what these outfits really are and push for their closure.

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    Sorry Adrian “pushing” for GR’s closure is as fantastical as their demands. There’s no chance they will shut up shop and go away. Equally I’d be astonished if the RRB was amended to provide and further security of tenure, under this government. But it does create a debating point for future Labour policy

     
  • John  Adams

    Ironically many people are going to lose their homes because many of these eco upgrades can only be done when a property is empty...This is the consequence of listening to activists and not the experts.

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    The morons in Westminster will fully expect all upgrades to take place with the tenant living in the property….

     
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    Yes John Adams,

    And a reason why tenants with a brain won't want serious energy saving measures ATM.

    But with the RRB ever-lasting tenancies and no S21, perhaps tenants would be able to make us provide them with alternative accommodation while improvements are carried out?

    They'd have to pay rent, if another vacant rental can be found!
    But the rent amount presumably would not cover the higher amounts of hotel/B&Bs we might be forced to provide.
    A nightmare if my suspicions are correct.

    I have one which isn't rated EPC C. Probably is, or near to it, if re-assessed when current tenants leave.
    I've used void periods to uprate energy performance/insulation. Though with doubts/uncertainty about the EPC regime changing to carbon assessment rather than costs (when, not if) I haven't considered air-source heat pumps; having seen other people's comments on this site.

    If I have to change a boiler and rads, I hope my tenants can go away for a weekend: I once paid 2 night B&B to get the family out of the way (they do fast cars, not holidays).
    {Cheaper than a void if I'd done S21 to get them out.}

     
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    Generation Rent is an organisation comprising people who are entirely divorced from reality. They do a great deal of harm because of that. Landlords are simply not going to accept any of the demands made by them whether or not they are translated into legislation. Selling an investment is always a possibility - and the sale is unlikely to be to a landlord because being a landlord would not be a prudent business decision.

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    • B L
    • 04 August 2023 11:24 AM

    No bone, no structure, no facts, no research provided in the article from Generation Rent.
    Only scream and shout, to stir up hatred in the society. To help people, is to help them to find their self-esteem. Generation Rent is encouraging violence and this will not help. The media shouldn't publish this kind of nonsense to stir the peace in the society. There is a limit of freedom of speech and standards in publishing.

     
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    My concern is energy conservation measures that are promoted by the government do not work. I had nearly 200 HMOs and I’ve tried roof insulation wall insulation, energy-efficient boilers and bulbs and they make no difference to the energy used in a HMO. I appreciate that HMO tenants may not behave like other householders as they open the windows when they get too hot but this does not explain everything.

    There is something very wrong with energy conservation.

    JIM HaliburtonTheHMODaddy

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    The things that really make a difference in HMOs are light bulbs, heat pump tumble driers, good heating programmers and solar panels.

     
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    Spot on as ever Jim.

     
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    Although their demands are horribly badly phrased they do have a point about the grants in recent years.
    There used to be free or very cheap insulation available for just about all rental properties. I've certainly had loft and cavity wall insulation at very little cost in several houses. The only problems have been where the insulation companies have only done half the job. When it's supposed to be both loft and walls and they decide not to do the walls because it's only the back of the house and their hoses aren't long enough because they can't get a parking space outside the house.
    Leasehold properties are problematic as freeholder consent and agreement of other leaseholders is required.
    Other schemes have been aimed at properties with low income tenants. There have been a few occasions when I've got very excited about a tenant suddenly being in the right income bracket, only to discover the scheme has been changed and now excludes them. I was hoping to get something on the current Eco scheme but was told by their advisor it wasn't available for flats as it was more important to insulate 6 bedroom farmhouses!!!!!

    The other problem is that whatever we spend on EPC upgrades is very rarely tax deductible as nearly all of it is a capital improvement. So we are expected to pay for stuff that has no financial benefit to us out of tax paid money after Section 24 has been taken into account. If it was tax deductible we may be more enthusiastic.

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    Doesn't help that Govt. grants/assistance for insulation has been cut massively, probably due to politics. (Those who deny climate change, just want minimal public expenditure; whatever the costs, financial or social. And by ignoring security of supply and the need for reducing demand by insulating -which we've know about for decades, when the sheiks controlled oil- unwittingly helped Putin finance his Ukraine invasion and ongoing war).

    Can't recall exact figures, but under coalition Govt. hundreds of thousands of homes were insulated per year. After the coalition that went down to less than 100,000 p.a..

    Insulation can reduce NHS costs of ill-health due to fuel poverty: the North of Tyne Mayor gave the figures for his are on BBC Radio 4 yesterday.

    Insulating reduces demand for fossil fuel, like Putin's gas, and far quicker than developing new gas/oil fields which will take decades; probably cheaper also but the investment system works against that.

     
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    Its a continuous all out attack on Private landlords it makes me wonder if the Institutions, Pension funds, Insurance CO’s, Co-op Bank etc are funding this charade for the big boys / Corporate Landlords waiting in the wings to take over from us with all the Government support, incentives and tax breaks they want which is surely what’s going on, get rid of us by every means possible.
    I don’t see any of those groups or Government attacking Corporate Landlords who’s
    Rents are 30 / 40% more than traditional Landlords and sometimes double, like well known £2’000 pm for a one bed modular built Flat in Greenford Quays and when the Tenants came to renew after a year they had the gaul to increase it another £200.00 pm, yet not a murmur out of any of those Anti-Private Landlords Groups banging on about us and affordable rents and a cap for us if we still exist.

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    One looks for a motive, Michael, because the assault on private landlords seems to be irrational unless the aim is to destroy us.

     
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    At the moment gas and electricity prices are too high, still.

    A problem is that there may be an agenda to keep gas very expensive in order to encourage the installation of heat pumps which cost three times more than a gas boiler to run unless the property is very easy to heat. Old draughty houses without cavity walls which can be insulated are not easy to heat. With a heat pump you can end up with a high electricity bill and a cold house. Also heat pumps often won't heat hot water sufficiently so you have to use an immersion heater to boost the temperature.

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    Electricity has been too expensive due to past green levies only applying to elex., not all fuels, nor general taxation.
    Govt have realised this is a problem, so proposed to reduce elex. costs c.f. gas.
    I don't know how effective that will be if electricity demand massively rises, e.g. lots more electric cars etc.

    A real problem with elex. prices is the legislation about these.
    Intelligent power suppliers want electricity prices to be able to be based on the power supplied by lowest cost generation like wind turbines, not the present higher cost generation methods.

     
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    Heat pump tumble dryers unfortunately are not suitable for many tenants because you have to empty the water and clean the filters after every use - lots of tenants won't do that.

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    Heat pump tumble dryers usually have an option to plumb in the drainage hose or manually empty the water container in exactly the same way as condensing dryers do. All tumble dryers need the fluff filters to be regularly cleaned.
    The main advantages with the heat pump ones is they dry more gently so are less likely to shrink clothes, can be positioned just about anywhere as they don't need an outdoor vent and cost far less to run than other types. They cost a little bit more to buy but in a bills inclusive HMO are going to recoup the extra cost within a few months.

     
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    I provide washer dryers - and mine seem to have very low maintenance requirements - filters don't seem to need to be cleaned - important with tenants.

    The need to clean filters in dishwashers is the reason I don't provide those.

     
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    Eventually someone was going to work it out ,some of us have known for some time that the hate gangs have been funded by the big corporations who are ready to control all housing in the UK once they have exterminated the small and medium landlords the rewards for the politicians and the bosses of the extremist gangs will be to be paid consultants on six figure salaries

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    100 percent true! Unfortunately most tenants are too stupid, lazy and I'll informed to find out what's really going on. Correction....my tenants are stupid, lazy and I'll informed...guessing I've just been unlucky!

     
  • Steven Williams

    As a home owner I’m not eligible for naff all.

    My tenants though have in the past, had boilers and extra insulation in the loft.

    I’ve contributed of course, but in my own residential I can’t have any help.

    So I do smell something sus

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    If anyone in your family is on a qualifying benefit, or your household income is under £31,000 or a member of your household has certain medical conditions you would be entitled to a free boiler if your existing one is non-condensing.
    Similarly if you didn't have a gas boiler or radiators but had a gas appliance connected before 1st April 2022 you would qualify for a first time gas central heating system. If your property simply needed more insulation you should be able to obtain that in the near future subject to the same criteria.

     
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    I have been close to minimum wage most of my life. I don't qualify for any benefits as I have over 16k in assets.

     
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    I can’t understand why S.21 is referred to as an eviction.
    The Property it let for a Contract Period entered into voluntarily and signed by both parties for a specific period of 6 months minimum to maximum of 7 years.
    So say if Contact was for a year when the year was up and if the Tenants wanted to stay on and the landlord was happy with that, you signed up for another Contract period, that’s how it was for years, how many scores of times was I required to do those Contracts.
    S.21 was there for when the Tenants breached the Contract didn’t voluntarily vacate or sign renew a Contract.
    Using a Section 21 was not an Eviction but a requirement to end the Contract legally and abide by the law, so you attack the landlords for complying with the law.
    Periodic was introduced in more recent years as a bolt-on but exactly same terms & conditions applied.

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    Can't someone with legal expert ease challenge it??? Has it been challenged legally or did I miss that amongst all the other crap that keeps coming out?

     
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    "squeamishness about handing money to landlords who stand to make a profit" this statement from generation rent says it all and at the root of the issues about landlords- they are not allowed to make a profit but run each property as a charity!

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    Profit is such a dirty word to those incapable

     
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    The main point, I think, is that rental property should be thought of as paying for what you want. You rent a property because you choose to do so. If you can't afford to rent then you live with your relatives or friends, or the state looks after you. Private renting is not social housing. Landlords should not be obliged to subsidise the tenants.

     
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    The Big Problem is you have to be on Benefits to get any form of Grant.
    Also any improvements we make should be sensible and cost effective and pay for them self within 20 years

    Every Day , Generation rent Shelter ,The Government , Councils etc are calling for more regulations , More ways to keep undesirable tenants in properties . More costs and legislation for Landlords.

    When what we really need is more houses for people to rent. And the fastest and cheapest way do do this is to support Private Landlords not vilify them.


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    Under ECO4 you can get a grant without being on benefits. There are two other routes, either the household income must be under £31,000 or someone in the household has a medical condition as specified in Route 3.
    Currently there are more measures available though to owner occupiers rather than rentals.

     
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    I am in Scotland. Previous tenants of mine who applied for improvements for heating arrangements gave consent for an oil tank to be sited in an access track. I didn’t get notified until a farmer complained to me as I knew nothing about it. Giving tenants such power is crazy. They don’t insure the property or have any responsibilities

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    How awful for you Naomi!

    Power and responsibility have to be linked. The aim is to give landlords all the responsibilities and no power, and to give tenants all the power and no responsibilities.

     
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    Wouldn't it make more sense to link the period of eviction protection and rent freeze to the payback period of the improvements. I have two houses, both EPC D. The payback period for any upgrades to C is 200 years. After 200 years the tenant would have gained the full benefit of their 'invested' grant, much fairer.

  • michael davies

    I visited 2 of my properties today and they both had the central heating on, i commented that it was rather warm and that i hadnt used my heating since march as its expensive to run,the reply was "if it gets too hot we open the front door"!. EPC?

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    Simply unbelievable!!! Gotta accept that some human beings have less intelligence than a dog. I can't deal with them anymore, I'm nearly sold up. Offer them a tent!

     
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    We are being stitched up left right & centre just add Londons Mayors Office the scum of the earth, asking you for your views but won’t allow your views.
    The have set questions 1, 2 & 3 all of which you disagree with so you can’t press any and the screen goes red, can’t be done it’s rigged if you complete the Survey you have to agree with them crooks, disgraceful.

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    So now we have Propertymark the letting Agents Organisation only around 5 years made up of 5 other organisations all living off the Private Landlords back and now calling all the shots about how everything should be and how good they are, they are so good they have joined up with Nationwide that supports Shelter, avoid them deal directly with the Tenants, they are happy to take our money then ride roughshod over us.

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    I want to apply to work at generation rant. The interview would go something like this:

    Me: I want a six figure salary (like your CEO), and I want to be protected from the sack regardless of whether I do a good job or even turn up to work.
    GR interviewer: that’s a ridiculous demand, it’s neither reasonable nor practical - you’re hired.

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    They are all a waste of space.

     
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    Absolute comedy gold. So DWC thinks it’s a dreadful assault on renters finances if they suffer a rent rise due to energy improvements, but doesn’t see fit to criticise the massively bigger rent increases caused by the landlord tax disaster that is S24?! Hmmm. Interesting. Also, if I want to put the rent up it absolutely WON’T be because of the extra energy efficiency measures (it will), it will just be because market rents have gone up generally. What’s he going to say about that?!

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