0:03 AM, 10th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago 55
Landlords are warning that plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the private rented sector (PRS) are ‘dead in the water’ because the Government has failed to respond to a consultation on the issue which closed two years ago.
Originally, a target for all new tenancies in the PRS to have an energy performance rating (EPC) of at least a ‘C’ by 2025 was made by the Government.
It was then proposed that the EPC target be extended to cover all tenancies by 2028.
However, the consultation on the issue closed in January 2021 – with the Government not providing any response to it which has led to uncertainty within the PRS about what is expected.
Now the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on the Government to make clear that the dates for improving energy efficiencies are now ‘unrealistic’.
The organisation is also urging certainty for the market and wants a definitive timetable for the publication of a consultation response – and any proposed legislation.
Among the Government’s proposals was for all landlords to pay up to £10,000 to carry out the necessary improvements to meet the proposed EPC targets.
The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “We all want to see properties as energy efficient as possible.
“However, the Government’s delay in responding to its consultation on energy standards in the private rented sector means its plans are dead in the water.
“The lack of clarity is playing a major part in holding back investment in the homes to rent tenants desperately need.”
He added: “In the interests of certainty, the Government needs to admit what we all know, namely that it has no hope of meeting its proposed energy targets for the rental market.”
The NRLA is calling for any proposed cap on what landlords will pay to be linked to the average market rent for the area in which the rental property stands.
This move would, the NRLA says, see a landlord’s bill being tapered from £5,000 to £10,000 if rental and property values were considered.
Also, NRLA wants a package of financial measures to support a landlord’s investment, and this would include a new tax allowance for landlords who carry out remedial work towards meeting the Government’s Net Zero target.
Mr Beadle said: “The plans, as they currently stand, rely on a misguided assumption that landlords have unlimited sums of money.
“The proposals fail to accept the realities of different property and rental values across the country, and that the private rented sector contains some of the most difficult to retrofit homes.
“Ministers need a smarter approach with a proper financial package if we want to ensure improvements to the rental housing stock.”
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