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Tenants can demand warmer buy to lets – if they pay

8 April 2016

Tenants can demand warmer buy to lets – if they payA new law allows tenants to demand energy efficiency improvements in their buy to let homes – providing they pay for them.

From April 1, the regulations apply to homes let on tenancy agreements in England and Wales.

Tenants can propose a range of energy improvements, such as:

• Solid or cavity wall insulation
• Loft insulation
• Upgrading heating
• Draught-proofing
• Double glazing
• Renewable energy installations, such as solar panels or heat pumps

Landlords must agree to the work before the tenant carries out the improvements.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said: “These new laws will plug the gaps in draughty homes – helping households to keep warm and drive down bills.

“Many of the poorest tenants will benefit and, with government support, landlords can improve their properties at no upfront cost.

“It’s good news all round and yet another way we’re taking action to ensure that cold homes with bloated energy bills become a thing of the past.”

Under The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, tenants can propose improvements by giving the landlord a report that shows:

• The current energy performance rating of the property
• Details of the proposed energy efficiency improvements
• The expected energy performance rating after completion of the work
• Evidence that the project is fully funded

Landlords can reject the proposal if energy efficiency changes only slightly or if other improvements would offer the same result at the same or a cheaper price.

The regulations also call on landlords to raise EPC rankings of buy to let homes to an E rating by April 2018 – and if they fail to do so, the home cannot be rented out until necessary work to achieve the ranking is carried out.