Buy-to-let landlords will have to fork out up to £5,000 to make rental homes energy efficient under new Government plans.
A total of 330,000 buy-to-let homes, typically Victorian and Edwardian properties, will be affected and we warn the new ‘green tax’ could push rents even higher.
Landlords until recently could apply for Green Deal loans to improve energy efficiency. These loans were then repaid by tenants, who as a result of the works were paying lower bills.
The new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is proposing landlords stump up the cash themselves for improvement such as insulation, cavity wall filling and new boilers.
The changes will be brought in from 2018, at which point landlord must raise the energy efficiency rating of their homes to at least Band E for new tenancies. The deadline is 2020 for existing ones.
The Government proposed the £5,000 cap in a briefing to landlords – claiming that most landlords will pay no more than £1,800.
However Richard Jones, our policy adviser warned that some landlords will have no choice but to pass on the costs of improvements to their tenants.
He said: “Unless they make funding available, landlords will be forced to pass these costs on to tenants in the form of higher rents. It could also make being a buy-to-let landlord prohibitive. They could struggle to find such a large amount of money upfront.
“Landlords have been harshly treated. This is an extra stealth tax on top of all the other measures that threaten the finances of the sector.”