The Government's latest energy upgrade rules are set to impact around 200,000 landlords.

Around 200,000 landlords may have to pay for upgrades to their rental properties to ensure they meet minimum energy efficiency requirements.

Previously, exemptions have been available for landlords if the work to install energy efficiency measures costs more than £2,500 per property.

But Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has now confirmed that the cap will be raised to £3,500 from next year, meaning fewer landlords will be exempt.

Perry said: “Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home and today’s announcement will bring this reality closer.”

Why is this happening?

The drive to improve the energy efficiency of homes is part of the Government’s commitment to eradicate fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

Since April, the coldest rental homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F and G, the lowest two energy efficiency ratings available, have had to be improved to at least E before they can be put back on the market for new tenants.

The Government estimates the improvements will cost an average of £1,200 per property and affect 290,000 homes.

The new measures announced this week, requiring landlords to contribute to the cost of upgrades, follows a public consultation.

Above: A six-bedroom rental property in Bath up for grabs at £3,480 pcm.

Who does it affect?

The move, which applies to England and Wales, is good news for tenants who live in properties that are cold and expensive to heat, with the Government estimating the measures will save tenants around £180 a year in lower fuel bills.

It is less good news for the landlords who are expected to have to make the upgrades, although they will still have access to a number of funding schemes, such as the Energy Company Obligation scheme and local grants, to help them with the costs.

Landlords who do not comply with the new requirements could be fined up to £5,000.

The majority of landlords will not be affected by the changes as their properties already have an EPC rating of E or above.

It is estimated that around 6% of private rental properties currently have an EPC of F or G.

What’s the background?

The Government said excessive cold was by far the largest preventable cause of death among people in the private rented sector.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 30% of avoidable winter deaths are due to people living in cold homes.

Measures landlords can take to help increase the energy efficiency of their homes include installing floor insulation, increasing loft insulation and putting in low energy lighting.

Top 3 takeaways

  • Around 200,000 landlords will have to pay for upgrades to their rental properties to make them compliant with energy efficiency requirements.
  • Previously, exemptions have been available for landlords if the work to install energy efficiency measures costs more than £2,500 per property.
  • The Government has confirmed that the cap will be raised to £3,500, including VAT, from next year.

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