Tenants living in some of the coldest homes in England and Wales are starting to benefit from regulations requiring landlords to install energy efficiency measures.
New energy efficiency regulations came into force last year (April 2018) stopping landlords renting out properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G, the lowest two energy efficiency ratings available – unless a valid exemption has been registered with the National PRS Exemption Register.
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 per cent of avoidable winter deaths are due to people living in cold homes. These can be prevented if people were kept warm during the winter months.
“Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home”, said Coun Stephen Watson, portfolio holder for Environmental Health at Hambleton District Council.
“Whilst 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.
“We are urging anyone living in rented accommodation who has a limited number of heating units, or if the heating is not working properly or unreasonably expensive to use or they are suffering from condensation or mould growth to let their landlords know in the first instance. If no improvements are made then they should contact the district council’s Residential Service Team for further advice”.
For homes in breach of the regulations, local authorities can use enforcement measures or issue a fine which is capped at £5,000. Local authorities also have powers to issue a publication penalty which would see the details of a landlord breach published on the PRS Exemptions Register.
Tenants can check the rating of their property by using the free online EPC register to enter the properties postcode – https://www.epcregister.com
- The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 currently apply to new or renewed tenancies but will apply to all existing tenancies from April 2020.