Council targets energy improvements for tenants

Landlords in the private sector who rent out cold, draughty and energy efficient properties will be forced to address their energy ratings thanks to a new Council initiative.

Bassetlaw District Council is one of 59 local authorities that was awarded Government funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to clamp down on landlords who rent out properties with an Energy Performance Rating of F or G.

Since April 2020 privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E, making it illegal to rent out homes below that unless landlords have a limited exemption. Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined of up to £5,000 per property and per breach.

The Council was awarded £65,000 of funding and since September has been working with more than 300 private sector landlords and tenants to ensure that their properties meet the minimum requirement, or direct them to apply for an exemption if the costs to make improvements exceed £3,500, the property cannot reach the minimum rating or if the property cannot be let.

Craig Taylor, Head of Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their properties meet Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and through this funding we are ensuring that private sector tenants do not have to live in badly insulated homes.”

“As the price of heating your home continues to increase, we are doing all we can to help tenants who are living in some of the lease energy efficient properties stay warm and save money.

“Meeting these minimum requirements can be as simple as installing TRV’s on radiators and changing light fittings to more energy efficient bulbs, or may require more substantial improvements such as loft insulation, double glazing and cavity wall insulation. Should landlords not take the necessary measures needed, we will not hesitate to take action against them.”

The Council has also written to landlords whose properties do not have a current EPC to advise them of the current standards. In addition, should the Council receive a complaint from Private Sector Tenants in relation to disrepair, it is able to use its powers under the Housing Act 2004 HHSRS to force the landlord to undertake works if there are Category 1 hazards; for example, hazards that could cause death, permanent paralysis, permanent loss of consciousness, loss of a limb or serious fractures.

Business and Energy Minister, Lord Callanan, said:

“This funding will help councils to support landlords with these important energy efficiency changes, but also enforce these standards, helping tackle fuel poverty and ensuring everyone can live in a warm home with fair energy bills.

“Heating our homes and buildings makes up almost a third of all carbon emissions, meaning raising the energy efficiency of our properties is something we all have to contribute to help us build back greener and reach our world leading climate ambitions.”

Last Updated on Monday, April 11, 2022