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Landlords call for support to improve energy efficiency of rented homes

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

LANDLORDS are calling on the Government for more support when it comes to energy efficiency improvements to rented housing.

Since April, all new or renewed private sector tenancies require properties to have at least an ‘E’ rating on their Energy Performance Certificate. From 2020 that will apply to all private rented homes.

Suggestions are that the Government will increase this target to a C rating by 2030, with the Residential Landlords Association calling on policy makers to help support landlords to make continuous improvements to prepare.

In its forthcoming submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget , the RLA will call for all work carried out by landlords that is recommended on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to be considered a tax deductible repair.

This would encourage a culture of continuous improvements to properties rather than simply meeting set targets and leaving them there.

New research by the RLA’s research body , PEARL, has found that 37 per cent of landlords with properties rated F or G are unable to afford to bring their property up to at least an E rating.

On average, such landlords reported that it would cost them almost £5,800 to bring their properties up to the required standard.

Previous research by RLA PEARL has found that 61 per cent of landlords reported that tax relief for energy efficiency works would encourage them to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

With Ministers having previously withdrawn the Landlord Energy Savings Allowance because of a lack of take up, the RLA argues that targeted tax relief for energy improvements could be more readily taken up in combination with the back stop of minimum targets to reach. This would increasing the take up of the tax relief.

The proportion of private rented homes with an Energy Performance Rating of F or G has fallen from just over 25% in 2006 to under 7% in 2016.

The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual report has found that the UK is on track to miss its legally binding future carbon budgets, due to the lack of progress in cutting emissions from buildings.

RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said: “Whilst progress has been made, we need to be more ambitious for the country’s stock of private rented homes.

“Energy efficient homes are good for tenants and good for landlords. That is why we need to use taxation far better than we do at present to encourage a continuous culture of energy improvements.

“Using recommendations on Energy Performance Certificates in this way is a clear and easy way of achieving this and we call on the Chancellor to adopt the policy in his Budget.”



  • Representatives of the RLA will be available for interview on Wednesday 18th July 2018.
  • RLA PEARL: The home for research
  • PEARL, the RLA’s research lab, was set up to provide high-quality research and analysis on the economic, social, and political issues facing the private rented sector. The RLA believes in the importance of policy makers considering the evidence and the potential consequences in their decision-making. Through PEARL, we provide the expertise, evidence, and research, to enable evidence led policy making in the private rented sector. Our ultimate aim is to influence decision makers in order to translate our research findings into an improved renting experience.
  • Further information about RLA PEARL can be found at or by following it on twitter @RLA_PEARL
  • RLA PEARL’s report, Examining Energy Efficiency & Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector, is available at: 2,696 landlords responded to the survey. It found that 37% of landlords (with an F or G property) reported that they could not afford to bring the property up to at least an E rating. On average, landlords reported that it would cost £5,879.76 to bring their property up to an E rating.

The research is part of the RLA PEARL State of the Private Rented Sector Quarterly Survey project. This project analyses and monitors key trends in the private rented sector.

 The RLA’s proposal would be self-policing as the energy recommendations are listed on the EPC and are made by a qualified energy performance assessor. They also have a directly measurable cost-benefit as each recommendation comes with an estimate of its cost and the contribution to any reduction in energy bills.


About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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