Rental homes told to meet energy targets

Landlords will have to start improving their properties or risk not being able to let them.

Plans to introduce new minimum energy efficiency standards for private landlords were announced in 2011 under the Green Deal.

The plans include a proposal that, from April 2016, landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property. And from April 2018 it will be unlawful to let a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.

With more than a quarter of a million of the worst insulated rented homes classed as fuel poor, these proposals are likely to help the most vulnerable and will ensure at least 682,000 properties will have to be improved.

In order to help the sector manage these upcoming changes to legislation, the Government launched the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which currently offers landlords the opportunity to apply for a grant towards a broad range of energy-saving measures.

Landlords who have properties in their portfolio with a rating of F or G should investigate the possibility of improvements, the assistance offered towards the installation of energy-saving measures will not only help to ultimately increase the value and rental income of property but also reduce tenants’ bills as the property will be more cost-effective to heat.