Inefficient Rental Homes to be Outlawed – 16 May 2011

It is going to be against the law to rent out a house that has an energy efficiency rating of less than ’E’ in its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne announced the proposal last week at the Second Reading of the Energy Bill.

Under the proposals, 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. Then from April 2018 it will be unlawful to rent out a house with an EPC rating of ’F’ or ’G’.

"All buildings that are newly built, sold or rented out are required by law to have an EPC," explained Grimsby EPC provider Colin Childs from "This analyses how energy efficient the property is and provides a rating from A to G, ’A’ being the most energy efficient. The average rating for a home in England is ’E’. The Government has legally binding obligations to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and is targeting the most inefficient homes from the private rental sector to help achieve these reductions."

Landlords will be able to improve the energy efficiency of their properties without incurring charges up front under the Government’s ’Green Deal’ proposals. From Autumn 2012, landlords and homeowners will be able to access finance to pay for the costs of energy efficiency improvements, which will be paid back through savings on lower fuel bills. Customers will incur no costs because the expected energy bill savings will offset the costs of the Green Deal improvements.

Mr Childs added: "We conducted a review of the EPCs carried out in Lincolnshire by and found that 1 in 16 homes received ratings that would make them unlawful to rent out in 2018. That equates to over 4000 homes in North East Lincolnshire."

"The Government appears to be adopting a carrot and stick approach to encourage landlords to upgrade the least efficient properties. From next year, Green Deal will provide the carrot, but for those landlords who fail to act, the law will be used as the stick from 2018."