Landlords to be banned from letting draughtiest homes
New energy efficiency regulations could help around a million tenants who are currently paying £1,000 more than average on their energy bills.
Landlords will be banned from renting out England and Wales’ draughtiest homes from 2018 in a bid to cut energy bills and carbon emissions. The new regulations are expected to help around a million tenants who are paying as much as £1,000 a year more than the average annual bill of £1,265 because of poorly insulated homes.
Campaigners hailed the move as potentially the most significant piece of legislation in a generation aimed at improving building stock in England and Wales, which is some of the oldest and leakiest in Europe.
Ed Davey, the energy and climate secretary, will present the regulations in parliament on Thursday. They will force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of hundreds of thousands of homes currently rated F and G to a minimum of E by 1 April 2018 – or face being unable to let them until they improve the rating. Almost 10% of England and Wales’ 4.2m privately rented homes currently fall below the E rating.
The regulations also mean that from 1 April 2016, tenants living in F- and G-rated homes will be able to request improvements such as more insulation. The landlord will then be legally bound to bring the home up to an E-rating.
“This is a very big measure. Effectively, we’re saying, if you do not improve your property up to the minimum of EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] E rating by three years’ time, you will not be able to let out that property. Which is quite a big stick, and it’s about time too. It’s really going to make a massive difference between now and the end of the decade,” Davey told the Guardian. “We’re talking about the deepest fuel poverty, and we’re going after it hard, because it’s frankly unacceptable in this day and age.”
Davey said he wished the regulations had been brought in earlier – the proposal dates back to 2010 – but battles within the coalition had delayed it. “Not everyone in this government wants more regulation. But in energy efficiency, regulations play a crucial role.”
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