Under new proposals announced by the Energy Secretary, private sector landlords could find themselves penalised if tenants refuse to undertake Green Deal energy efficiency work according to one of the country’s leading voices for landlords.

With 40% of properties in the sector built before 1919, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) recognises the importance of improving the energy efficiency of housing to help keep energy bills down for tenants and contribute to reducing UK carbon emissions. Following the announcement by the Government that landlords will be compelled to take action under the Green Deal when requested by 2016 and to have a minimum of Band E energy efficiency by 2018, the RLA is seeking clarity over issues such as the rights of landlords to have access to undertake energy improvements and enforcement of the regulations.

Commenting, RLA Chairman, Alan Ward explained:

“As local authority inspectors continue to be overstretched and under-resourced, it will again be those landlords who comply in full with all their obligations who are likely to bear the brunt of inspection as they are much easier to track. The RLA is concerned that this will leave those landlords who fail to provide energy improvements to their tenants going undetected.

“We remain concerned that properties improved under the Green Deal will be blighted as a result of tenants being frightened of higher energy charges, particularly as the cost of fuel increases in order to pay back the deal.

“Supposed energy savings will be calculated on an average basis which does not take account of actually usage, especially for those tenants, such as single people who consume less energy.

“The RLA is committed to making the Green Deal work, but feels that a number of areas still need to be clarified. We look forward to working with the Government, constructively to secure regulations that are good for tenants and good for landlords.”

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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

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