The Second Reading of the Energy Bill was delivered on 10 May, and it contains some interesting bits for landlords, and yes, even small landlords.
The Energy Bill is intended to be a change in the provision of energy efficiency measures to homes, and to encourage improvements to enable low carbon energy supplies.
In the second reading new proposals included amongst other things:
- 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
- From April 2018 the government will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.
Chris Huhne claims that
“Our proposals provide a voice for tenants living in poorly insulated, draughty homes. The Green Deal is a win-win opportunity for landlords by removing the upfront cost of work to upgrade the property making it cheaper to run, more environmentally friendly and ultimately more attractive to rent.
For those landlords who don’t take up the Green Deal then we will get tough so that by 2018 the poorest performing rented housing stock is brought up to a decent standard.”
There has been talk about financial support for landlords in making these changes, but nothing specific and nothing that you could write a cheque with.
So it looks like the pressure will be on the providers of EPC’s to make sure that rented properties do not fall below an E rating. And who knows what will constitute a “reasonable request” from a tenant to improve a property.
Oh, and of course any landlord receiving such a request would still be free to use section 21 to end the tenancy, wouldn’t they?