MP sees red over forcing green repairs on landlords

MP sees red over forcing green repairs on landlords

15:46 PM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago 7

Text Size

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.

Share This Article


22:18 PM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

The Green Deal is supposed to have a
golden rule that savings must be greater than the cost of the improvements with
added interest. How will the landlord benefit if the tenant makes savings. Does
this mean that we will have to increase the rent so that it includes the cost
of electric and gas so that we get the savings? A bit of a ludicrous system if
that's what we will have to do !!

Bilbo Baggins

23:24 PM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

what a mad idea. Bad LLs will be even more likely to do bad repairs and those of us that will do the right thing will be forced to pass it on in higher rents or get out of LLing altogether. Why do these numpties even bother to turn up to work if this is the drivel they come up with.

18:07 PM, 14th April 2012, About 12 years ago

I think you are missing the point, the green deal means that approved improvements can be installed at no up front cost. Since the the occupant of the property gets the benefit, they pay part of their savings through the electric meter until the improvement is paid off. If the tenant moves, the new tenant continues paying. 

As long as the tenant is happy with the arrangement, the landlord gets an improved property as an investment without having had to put his hand in his pocket, and the tenant gets a warmer property which is easier to heat and more comfortable.

My only worry is what happens if tenants get switched on to this and start asking for rent reductions if they are in effect paying an annual instalment towards the landlords benefit?

19:34 PM, 14th April 2012, About 12 years ago

The Green Deal has always been a mean deal for landlords who can now get their loft insulated for free but not for much longer! There are loads of other catches but landlords just have not woken up to the real consequences, they will do one day.

Now you can see the gist of government policy to force changes on landlords by whatever means is at their disposal. EPC's, HHSRS and now ancillary repairs on properties where a planning application is made.

If the changes were all genuinely beneficial there can be little to complain about, but they are not.

4:14 AM, 16th April 2012, About 12 years ago

My understanding is that whatever improvements are needed to achieve a E standard the Green Deal loan will be provided by the govt and will cost the LL NOTHING.
If the govt wants to loan me £10000 to bring any property of mine up to EPC E standard, then yes please.
Immediate capital improvements to property making it more rentable and worth more, and possibly achieving a higher rent all paid by the tenant on the ELECTRICITY bill only
It will take about 25 years for some of these Green Deal debts to be paid.
What do you think the chances are of the govt saying in the very near future, they have run out of money but LL will still have to be EPC compliant no later than 2018 or 2016 if the tenant requests, at the LL cost!!?
Therefore LL take the money ASAP and get the work done.
Remember nearer to the deadlines competent builders will become scarce.
Also hope all of you with hidden gas flues are having the remedial works carried out as otherwise no gas boiler use on 1.1.2013.
Don't think your tenants will be impressed if they cannot use the boiler on New Year's Day!!?

8:56 AM, 16th April 2012, About 12 years ago

We don’t know yet, but what if potential tenants decide to never let any property that has an “unfair” additional charge on the electric to
pay the landlords loan?  You could even get a tenants deciding to withhold an equal amount from the rent payment on the bases that they are paying the landlords bill.

If I was a tenants looking to rent a property with such a charge,
I would use the charge as a leaver to try to get the rent reduced….

16:02 PM, 16th April 2012, About 12 years ago

Welll if you have a property 'improved' to meet the EPC A-E standard the property will stand out as a better property.than similar 'unimproved' properties.
I presume that the loan costs won't be noticeable taking into account this supposed 'golden rule'.
Not sure, however , how this will be presented.
If it is indicated on a electricuity bill I can see what you you are suggesting re rent reduction.
But the point is irrespective of the issues, you HAVE to get the work done if needed.
So I say get it done as I can easily see the govt saying it has run out of money and the LL is going to have to pay for the EPC improvements out of their own pockets!!
This Green Deal should create a bonanza of work for builders in the north as most pre 1930 properties do not meet this standard
I think I saw somewhere that there are 682000 rental properties which do not meet the EPC A- E standard.
Noew if the standard is not met by 2018 latest, that is a lot of rental properties that will have to be withdrawn from the rental market.
There wil be lots of homeless tenants; most of them will be LHA claimants, a big problem looming for the local councils.
Unintended consequences and all that!

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now