Landlords Get Cold Comfort From Energy Efficiency Rules

Thousands of buy-to-let landlords are unaware the government is ready to the plug on them renting out homes that fail to meet energy efficiency standards.

From April 1, 2018, all rented homes must meet strict energy efficiency rules.

Landlords must stop letting the coldest and most expensive homes run – and cannot let them until they meet the minimum standards.

A survey by power provider E.ON revealed one in four landlords did not know about energy efficiency regulations.

While 42% said they were mildly aware of the new rules, 27% had no idea how their properties rated even though they should have an energy performance certificate by law.

Another 49% did not know about the penalties for failing to comply with the regulations, and a third did not realise they would have to stop letting homes that were unable to meet the minimum standard.

“Government housing data already shows that the private rented sector has the highest proportion of properties falling in the F and G bands, so it’s vital landlords consider what they need to do before the regulations come into effect,” said Mike Feely, an energy efficiency expert at E.ON.

‘Whether landlords have in the past been put off by the perceived hassle, expense, or their own lack of knowledge around the subject, the clock is definitely ticking on the need to improve properties.

“We know this can be a huge challenge for landlords so we’ve developed a range of services to give them the support they need, from online account management that allows landlords to better control their property portfolios through to a range of great value insulation and heating services to make their homes more energy efficient.”

Feely also explained that energy companies could meet the cost of some energy efficiency upgrades if tenants are elderly or receiving benefits.

Further information about the energy efficiency regulations is also available here.

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Energy Efficiency Improvements

A tenant is allowed to reasonably ask for a relevant energy efficiency improvement. From 1 April 2018, all rented property let on assured shorthold tenancies, regulated tenancies under the Rent Act 1977 and four types of agricultural tenancy, which is to have a new tenancy must have an EPC rating of at least "E".