'Property MOTs' to help rental homes become energy efficient
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark) is calling for 'property MOTs' to help landlords trying to meet new energy efficiency targets.
The Government’s target is for all private rented properties to be Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated C by 2030, but because landlords have limited access to funding, many are selling up and passing ‘fuel poor’ homes to owner-occupier buyers.
Now ARLA Propertymark wants the government to introduce a property MOT, which would encompass all areas of property standards including energy efficiency, rather than focusing solely on EPCs.
ARLA says the private rental sector has the greatest numbers of energy inefficient stock and does not receive funding while the social sector has the highest number of properties rated EPC A, B and C yet continues to receive millions.
To incentivise private landlords to make improvements, it says the government needs to reintroduce the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance and focus Energy Company Obligation towards the private rental sector, by using EPC gradings as criteria rather than tenant’s income.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “As it stands, the government’s target for all private rented homes to have an EPC rating of C by 2030 will not be met.
"With the collapse of the Green Deal, the private rented sector has been left little in the way of funding in order to raise energy efficiency within the tenure.
“Last year the government ended its dedication under the Energy Act 2011 for energy efficiency improvements to come with no ‘upfront cost’ to landlords by introducing a capped contribution of up to £3,500.
"The increasing financial burden faced by landlords is being passed on to tenants through rent increases, and some buy-to-let investors are leaving the sector altogether.
“If the Clean Growth Strategy target is to be met, the government needs to act fast in providing support to private landlords.
"ECO funding now needs to be focussed on improving the energy efficiency of private rented stock, and the LESA should be reintroduced and extended to include the contents of the Recommendations Report found in an EPC.”