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Saturday 22 November 2014 2:42 AM

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12:29 Friday 19 October 2012 

Older rental property under threat from new Green Deal

Flaws in a legal change that makes it compulsory for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their property must be addressed.

That is the view of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the new Green Deal designed to make homes warmer. The RLA has said the key characteristics of Green Deal for landlords are as follows:

  • It aims to improve inefficient and older properties by implementing modern energy standards.
  • It is proposed the cost of Green Deal will be repaid via tenants’ electricity bills.
  • It could blight older properties with expensive energy costs.
  • It will be illegal to let F and G rated energy properties after 2018.

Rented properties will have to be brought up to at least category E on an Energy Performance Certificate. It will affect a significant proportion of properties in the private rented sector, particularly older properties and those with the lowest energy efficiency ratings.

The scheme is being rolled out on a voluntary basis this month and by 2016, tenants will be legally allowed to demand energy efficiency improvements to their homes, and full compliance with EPC standard band E will be compulsory for every property by 2018. The RLA has said it supports the need to improve energy efficiency in the housing stock and liaised with the Department of Energy & Climate Change to discuss the implications of Green Deal. But it has a concerns about the scheme, including:

  • It could have a blighting effect on properties, making them harder to rent because of tenant resistance to repaying Green Deal charges.
  • The private rented sector has been unfairly discriminated against because of the compulsion provisions. Greater national energy improvements would be obtained by bringing about improvements in the much larger owner/occupier sector, which has a lower energy efficiency rating than the private rented sector.
  • The private rented sector is harder to engage with and the cost of improving these properties is likely to be greater than anticipated.
  • The cost of Green Deal will have a disproportionate affect on those tenants in energy poverty, who will not see their costs reduced.

The RLA has now set up a technical group with other landlord associations to improve the deal and is campaigning for key changes to the proposed legislation. The RLA believes landlords should have the choice to pay the Green Deal charge directly to avoid tenant resistance and allow them to see real savings on their energy bills. It also believes landlords who want to undertake the energy improvements independently of Green Deal should be able to claim tax allowances for the work.

Email campaigns@rla.org.uk if you have an older rental property under threat from new Green Deal.

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