A new £2 million government scheme to enable local authorities to clamp down on landlords in the private rental sector whose properties are not meeting minimum energy efficiency standards has been announced.
Local authorities across England and Wales can bid for up to £100,000 to enforce the current regulations for privately rented homes to have a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) of Band E and help protect vulnerable tenants living in non-compliant properties.
They can use the funding to increase the number of inspections to catch landlords and make it easier for vulnerable tenants to report the worst offenders.
Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations by carrying out home improvements such as loft insulation, double glazing and cavity wall insulation can be slapped with a fine of up to £5,000 per property and per breach.
Badly insulated properties leave renters struggling with unfairly high energy bills, with many already on lower incomes – the government estimates this new pilot programme could help renters save £180 per year on their average energy bills.
The pilot, which aims to help understand how the enforcement of minimum energy efficiency standard regulations can be effectively scaled up, will also contribute towards the government’s goals to end fuel poverty and commitments to tackle climate change by driving home upgrades in the worst-performing privately rented homes – helping to eliminate the UK’s contribution to carbon emissions.
Climate Change Minister Lord Callanan said: “Heating our homes makes up almost a third of all carbon emissions. This must be reduced so we can tackle climate change and drive forward Britain’s green industrial revolution.
“Our £2m fund will help in the fight against climate change and support councils to properly enforce these standards to upgrade homes, protect vulnerable households and ensure renters enjoy cheaper energy bills.”