8:01 AM, 22nd September 2022, About 4 days ago 12
Landlords will have to pass on a £400 energy rebate to their tenants who are paying rent with their bills included, the government has revealed.
The move is part of the government’s help to deal with soaring energy bills and various charities have voiced concerns that for renters who have energy bills included in their rent would miss out because the energy rebate will be paid to the landlord.
Now, the government says it is prepared to force through legislation that will compel landlords to pass on the energy rebate to their tenants.
The Government announcement on the energy bill rebate for all-inclusive tenants, states:
Your landlord may charge an ‘all inclusive’ rent, where a fixed cost for energy usage is included in your rental charges, in which case:
Charities have welcomed the news with Gillian Cooper, the head of energy policy for Citizens Advice, saying: “We’re relieved to see the government bring in measures to make sure people don’t miss out on money they’re entitled to.
“But it’s still shaping up to be an incredibly difficult winter and the government must be ready to provide more support for families struggling the most.”
Responding to news that the Government plans to legislate to ensure landlords pass on the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount to tenants paying all-inclusive rents, Chris Norris, the policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Given payments under the support scheme have not begun to be made, the Government’s plans to legislate are premature and are demonising landlords unnecessarily.
“It sends a dangerous and misleading message that landlords cannot be trusted to do the right thing, creating needless fear and anxiety for tenants.”
He added: “The reality is that one-off pots of money like this cannot compensate for the fact that the benefits system is systematically failing to protect the most vulnerable tenants.
“At a time when households finances are being squeezed it makes no sense to have frozen housing benefit rates.”
The NRLA says it is also calling for a long-term plan to help landlords introduce energy efficiency measures.
However, it’s unlikely that any legislation will be passed before October, because Parliament will be in recess from Friday for the Conservative and Labour party conferences.
It’s still unclear whether the energy rebate will be delayed being passed on to tenants without legislation.
The announcement comes as the government has announced its energy support package to help businesses around the country in a move that will see their bills being cut by half from their predicted winter levels – this move will also require legislation.
Now, the scheme will see electricity and gas prices being fixed for businesses from 1 October for six months.
The savings will, the government says, be seen in business’s October energy bills – when they are received in November.
The Prime Minister, Liz truss, announced earlier this month government plans to limit energy bill increases for up to two years for all households.
This will see a typical household energy bill being capped at £2,500.