Landlords will have to upgrade the energy-efficiency of their properties under new legislation planned for 2018.
The government plans will require all rental properties to have at least an E rating for energy-efficiency. This means that many landlords will have to carry out extensive work to ensure their homes meet the new guidelines.
As many of the country’s rental properties are older Victorian or Edwardian houses, approximately 330,000 houses will need upgrading. To avoid prosecution and potential fines, landlords must ensure their properties comply with the new laws.
What Is the Government Doing?
The new laws, planned to come into force in 2018, will mean all rental properties need to meet at least an E energy rating. Many older houses, especially those with old inefficient boilers, currently only hold an F or even G rating.
In order to increase energy-efficiency in older homes and help the country meet national ‘green’ targets, the government is effectively forcing landlords to do their bit. Anyone failing to bring their properties up to the new standards will face prosecution and potential fines.
To help landlords afford these improvements, the government is planning on introducing a £5,000 cap on landlords’ spending. However, it is believed that in the majority of cases landlords will not have to spend more than £1,800. This is about how much energy efficient boilers cost.
Experts are concerned, however, that additional costs will be passed on to tenants by means of higher rents. To combat this, they believe the government should be doing more to help landlords.
The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) says landlords have had to cope with a large number of changes in the law in recent years, and that the end of the so-called Green Deal, which encouraged householders to reduce their home’s’ carbon footprint, has not helped the situation.
Making a Home More Energy-Efficient
Complying with the new legislation will mean landlords forking out for improvements such as cavity wall and loft insulation. One of the most important measures is the installation of energy efficient boilers. This will help tenants save on fuel costs as well as ensuring the ‘green’ laws are complied with.
New boilers are designed to use less energy and produce far fewer harmful emissions, meaning they can easily improve a home’s energy rating. Boiler replacement, therefore, should be high on every landlord’s list of improvements.
Experts say that, to limit the costs involved, landlords should start making improvements before the law comes into force. Measures such as boiler replacement are easy to arrange, not too costly and will actually help save the landlord money in the long run, due to less fuel being needed.