Loophole Leaving Renters in the Cold
In April next year, a new law is coming in which will prevent landlords from renting out homes that are very hard or expensive to heat. All tenants’ homes should be assessed for their energy efficiency on a Scale of A-G, with the most efficient being rated as A. Properties rated F or G should not be offered to new tenants and existing lets will need to reach the minimum of E rating when they are renewed at the end of the period of the tenancy agreement.
However, there is a huge loophole – the Government says that landlords will be exempt from having to bring properties up to at least energy rating E, if it will cost them money! When the new Regulations were drafted, grants were available to landlords through a scheme called the Green Deal, but these are no longer available, so landlords will all be able to claim exemption, and tenants will continue to freeze in the Winter or face fuel bills that they can’t afford to pay.
We need your help to change this. We, and others, are asking the Government to amend the Regulations, replacing the ‘no cost’ exemption, with a ‘cost cap’. We argue that landlords should be obliged to spend up to £5,000 on energy improvements (which isn’t much compared with the rents they charge). A lot of improvements could be made for this sum, such as a new, more energy efficient boiler, or double glazing on the windows.