Tenants to save £180 a year as landlords forced to make energy upgrades
Properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G must now be made warmer by landlords before they can be put on the rental market for new tenancies.
The government had previously proposed exempting homes where upgrades cost more than £2,500.
However, this cap has now been raised to £3,500 with effect during 2019.
The average cost of upgrading a property to an EPC rating of E is £1,200 and will improve 290,000 properties, accounting for around 6% of the market, according to the Department for Business and Energy.
As a result, tenants will save an average £180 a year on energy bills.
‘Effective way to tackle fuel poverty’
Landlords can use support from the Energy Company Obligation scheme, as well as local grants to improve their properties.
Energy and clean growth minister, Claire Perry, said: “While the vast majority of landlords take great pride in the properties they own, a minority still rent out housing that is difficult to keep warm.
“Upgrading these homes so they are more energy efficient is one of the most effective ways to tackle fuel poverty and help bring down bills for their tenants, saving them £180 a year.
“Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home and today’s announcement will bring this reality closer.”
Housing minister, Heather Wheeler, added: “This builds on our ongoing work to crack down on the small minority of rogue landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector, including through our reviews of health and safety standards and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home.
“Excess cold is by far the largest preventable cause of death in the private rented sector.
“It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that 30% of avoidable winter deaths are due to people living in cold homes. These can be prevented if people are kept warm during the winter months.”