Landlords may have to clear minor repairs with council building inspectors who could force them to carry out extra energy efficiency improvements under controversial proposals drafted by the government.
Under the plan, maintenance like changing a boiler or fitting a new front door will trigger a visit from the council – and demands for other green building works like laying loft insulation or draught-proofing.
If the landlord fails to do the work, the building inspector may block the repair, says Energy Select Committee chairman Tim Yeo.
The Tory MP says the Communities and Local Government Department will force landlords to upgrade buy to let homes with non-related building work as part of an initiative aimed at improving housing standards while cutting the UK’s carbon footprint.
Yeo is worried that the ‘consequential repairs’ will stop landlords repairing homes or that they may turn to unqualified cowboy tradesmen to avoid a council inspection.
Yeo applauds efforts to improve energy efficiency in homes – but claims spending on green improvements should be up to a landlord.
He told BBC Radio 4: “The problem, as I see it at the moment, is the public are not really much engaged by this, they are not enthused by this prospect.
“It means having builders into your home, doing things, making a mess – all rather aggravating for a saving which is some way off in the future.
“You’ve got to find ways of making the public more enthusiastic and I think compelling people who have applied for planning consent to make some alteration to their home isn’t necessarily going to help.”
The CLG commented landlords will only have to spend on ‘economically viable’ improvements and can borrow up to £10,000 under the Green Deal, which starts in October, to fund the work.