New powers were introduced recently by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) requiring all privately rented properties to attain minimum energy efficiency ratings of at least an E Band by April 2018. The announcement has been expected for some time, and the RLA is campaigning for extra help for landlords and properties most in need of improvements.
The RLA welcomes the announcement from DECC as it ends a period of uncertainty around requirements.
The RLA has been working with the Association for Conservation of Energy (ACE) to secure an extension of the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance (LESA). The LESA scheme is set to expire in April 2015. Even with the relatively small allowance of £1,500 LESA represents an important facet of energy efficiency for private landlords.
The RLA is lobbying to ensure that the LESA scheme is available until 2018 by which time private landlords must have their properties up to the new minimum energy efficiency standard.
Some properties may enjoy exemptions from more rigorous requirements if the works are deemed too costly or a property is impossible to make more energy efficient. However, it is imperative that landlords in these circumstances can prove that they have gone through the necessary steps to assess these conditions and improve the properties energy efficiency rating.
While schemes such as the Green Deal (GD) and Energy Company Obligations (ECO) have funding available, they are massively oversubscribed and available funding is exhausted very quickly. This is another reason why the LESA scheme is so important; it allows any landlord to enjoy a level of support to help improve their properties for tenants.