Tenants are likely to bear the brunt of new energy efficiency laws for the private rental sector.
From 2018, it will be illegal for private landlords to rent out properties with ‘F’ and ‘G’ energy efficiency ratings, meaning they will have to pay up to £5,000 for improvements.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is worried these costs will be passed on to tenants.
Because almost a third of private rental housing was constructed before 1919, they are expensive to make energy efficient and occupants often suffer from fuel poverty.
The RLA has said the government is careless for not bringing this up during ongoing Energy Company Obligation (ECO) consultations. The ECO was intended to reduce fuel poverty, but may now have its duties extended to the heavily subsidised social sector, where newer housing stock means this isn’t a big issue.
The RLA is calling for the scheme to support improvements in the private rental sector and avoid the “tax on tenants”.
Policy Consultant at the RLA, Richard Jones, says: “Whilst we all want to see improvements in the energy efficiency of homes to rent, that cannot come at the expense of driving up rents. The Government’s proposals will amount simply to another tax on tenants.”