Heat is on Improving Cold Buy to Let Homes

Heat is on Improving Cold Buy to Let Homes

8:53 AM, 8th August 2011, About 13 years ago

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Landlords are under fire for failing to keep buy to let homes warm enough as a tenant’s rights protest coalition claims they should be forced to meet minimum energy standards.

Around 30 tenant groups, charities, councils and consumer groups are calling on the government to toughen up Green Deal laws to improve energy efficiency in private rented homes.

The protestors claim private rented homes are among the worst maintained properties and that private tenants are four times more likely to live in a cold home than those in social housing.

They also claim more G-rated homes – those with the worst energy efficiency rating – are twice as common as buy to lets than as any other type of home.

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, one of the coalition groups calling for stricter energy efficiency rules for landlords, said: “With almost 12 million people expected to be living in fuel poverty when the latest round of price rises hits, tackling this problem is a major issue.

“Private rented housing is amongst the coldest and most likely to leak heat – meaning bigger bills and a greater risk to renters’ health.

“Bringing this requirement into law would save private renters almost £500 a year on average off their energy bill and cut carbon emissions by almost 200 million tonnes a year. Current legislation isn’t enough to make this happen, so we need the UK Government to act to help the many vulnerable households affected.”

The group is calling for new laws to make 150,000 buy to lets more energy efficient by 2016, and argue this will save tenants an average of £500 per year on energy bills.

“The Green Deal offers landlords a mechanism to finance the upfront cost of improving their properties. Many may take up this opportunity. Improving the worst insulated, coldest homes cannot be left to chance,” said Gallacher.

“With so many renting households in fuel poverty the Green Deal will not be suitable for all and many landlords will not act without greater incentive.”

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