All landlords will face minimum energy efficiency standards under new plans announced by Chris Huhne as part of the Green Deal.
With more than a quarter of a million of the worst insulated rented homes classified as fuel poor, the laws could have a big impact on the UK’s poorest.
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said: “Our proposals provide a voice for tenants living in poorly insulated, draughty homes. The Green Deal is a win-win opportunity for landlords by removing the upfront cost of work to upgrade the property making it cheaper to run, more environmentally friendly and ultimately more attractive to rent.”
From next year, people can access funds to pay for upfront costs of work which will be paid back through savings on lower fuel bills.
Mr Huhne added: “For those landlords who don’t take up the Green Deal then we will get tough so that by 2018 the poorest performing rented housing stock is brought up to a decent standard.”
New proposals will force landlords to listen to ‘reasonable requests’ from tenants who want improvements to their property from 2016.
Rules could get even tougher from April 2018, when the government will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.
The knock-on effect means at least 682,000 properties may need to be improved.
The news was announced in Parliament yesterday at the Second Reading of the Energy Bill as part of the Green Deal, a key Coalition policy aiming to make houses and businesses cheaper to run through better efficiency.