Landlords are being urged to get energy saving measures for their rental homes before they are forced to by new laws.
Plans to introduce new minimum energy efficiency standards for private landlords were announced in 2011 under the Green Deal.
The plans include a proposal that, 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, it will be unlawful to let a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.
Lettings agency Savills said more than a quarter of a million of the worst insulated rented homes are classed as fuel poor, meaning at least 682,000 properties will have to be improved.
Louise Butler, Head of Savills Surrey and Southern Lettings said: “We would urge any landlord with a property rating of F or G to investigate the possibility of improvements as soon as possible and to take the relevant steps.”
The ECO energy saving scheme could help with this, she said: “This assistance towards the installation of energy saving measures will not only help to ultimately increase the value and rental income of property but also reduce tenant’s bills providing them with warmer properties in which to live which are more cost-effective to heat.”
Sounding a note of caution for policymakers, Ms Butler warned the number of investor landlords could drop because of the plans: “This, in turn, could lead to a shortage of stock and result in the price of rented property escalating significantly.”
Earlier this week 30 organisations called on DECC to introduce energy efficiency standards for private landlords.