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New energy efficiency regulations could ban landlords from renting their properties

20 February 2015

As Britain has some of the least energy-efficient homes in Europe and approximately one million tenants who are currently paying as much as £1,000 annually on their energy bills, campaigners have hailed the new energy efficiency Government legislation as the most significant in a generation which aims to improve the building stock across England & Wales.

The new legislation requires landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency in their homes which are currently rated as band F & G to a minimum band E by 1st April 2018.

If landlords do not comply, they will be banned from renting their properties and may be forced to pay penalty notices.

The energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey presented the regulations in parliament earlier this month stating that almost 10% of England and Wales privately rented homes, which exceeds over 4.2m, currently fall under the minimum of Energy Performance Certificate band E.

Ed Davey told the guardian that “If you do not improve your property up to the minimum of EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) E rating by three years’ time, you will not be able to let out that property”.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association welcomed the legislation describing the Government’s sensible approach to allowing landlords time to achieve the energy efficiency regulations and opportunities to be funded through green deal schemes as a realistic prospect for landlords to comply with.

The legislation does also require landlords to bring up their F- and G- rated properties to at least an E-rating from 1st April 2016. This necessary work could cost landlords up to £9,000.

There are various green deal and ECO schemes available to help landlords with these upfront costs as energy efficient improvements may be costly. However, many experts believe landlords would choose to foot the bill themselves rather than deal with the bureaucracy of the system.

Chris Norris, head of Policy at the National Landlords Association said that “Even with the support the government is offering landlords are going to have to pay a significant amount themselves.”

There are some exemptions within the regulations for example, if the work is deemed to be impossible to make the property more energy efficient or if the work is too expensive.

Ultimately, the legislation is in place to drive the standards higher within the sector in order to deliver more affordable energy bills as well as the reduction in carbon emissions.