As an energy assessor I have been waiting for the Government to begin the task of making use of the database of property efficiencies that they have been building up through the introduction of energy performance certificates on both residential and commercial properties. Well it appears that the first move is being made now.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne has announced plans to introduce regulations to ensure rented properties meet minimum energy efficiency standards under the green deal. The following changes are proposed;
- From April 2016 landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants, or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property.
- From April 2018 the government will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premises which has less than an E energy efficiency rating (Energy ratings of F and G will effectively be outlawed in rental properties from 2018).
Now this is a long way in the future and may well (almost certainly) change before it is adopted, but current estimates suggest that this proposal would involve the improvement of at least 682,000 properties across the UK. Previous suggestions were that energy ratings could be used to vary the business rates payable – a poor rating being hit harder in money terms – this may still come, but this proposal has a similar effect.
This is the Governments first attempt to force those landlords who don’t take up the green deal to improve their properties – in my view it is to be applauded, but I am sure most Landlords won’t see it that way!