The Government’s decision to remove all financial support for landlords hoping to make homes more energy efficient will inevitably raise rents.
New laws mean that from 2018 it will be illegal to rent out property with an energy efficiency ratings of F and G and now – in response to a Government consultation – the RLA is warning that forcing landlords to carry out costly works without support will have a knock on effect for tenants.
Nearly a third of private rented housing was constructed before 1919 making homes to let some of the hardest to treat properties for energy efficiency improvements.
With fuel poverty a bigger challenge in the private rented sector as a result, the RLA argues it is remiss that the Government’s consultation, closing today, on the future of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) makes no reference to the private rented sector.
Despite ECO being designed to focus on fuel poverty, the consultation envisages extending the scheme to the already heavily subsidised social sector, which has newer housing stock and fewer tenants in fuel poverty.
Previously the Government supported landlords in implementing energy efficiency through the Green Deal and a tax allowance. These have now ended and the RLA has been told landlords could potentially face having to pay up to £5,000 up front for improvements.
Coming on top of recent tax hikes from the Treasury it is inevitable that costs will be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents. The RLA is instead calling for a specific allocation under the ECO, scheme to support improvements in the private rented sector.
RLA Policy Consultant, Richard Jones, has said: “Whilst we all want to see improvements in the energy efficiency of homes to rent, that cannot come at the expense of driving up rents. The Government’s proposals will amount simply to another tax on tenants.”
For details of the new energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector click here.