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UK public: stop landlords renting out cold homes

Seven in ten of UK householders say that landlords should not be allowed to let out homes that have very poor levels of energy efficiency.

This is according to the Energy Saving Trust in its latest UK Pulse public opinion trackers.

The findings from the Ipsos MORI survey of over 2,000 UK respondents show this demand is even stronger among renters with nearly eight in ten (78%) supporting this intention.

The UK Pulse findings also revealed that people in rented homes find it hardest to heat their home properly, with over half (51%) saying that they experience cold homes during the winter.

Renters are also more concerned about their energy bills compared to owner-occupiers, with 80 per cent saying that the cost of energy bills are a worry compared to 71% of owner occupiers.

Previous findings from the Energy Saving Trust revealed that draught, damp and mould problems in the home were more common in rented properties than those in owner-occupied homes.

Under plans proposed by Government, English and Welsh landlords will be restricted from renting out their properties from 2018 if they are not rated E or above on the official Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). However, landlords will only have to improve homes to meet the standard where they can access grants to cover the full cost of upgrades – or can persuade tenants to contribute. There is no certainty about what grants will be available when the regulations take effect.

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood says “Being able to live in a home that is easy-to-heat, free of damp and mould should be a basic right.

“It’s not right that landlords are still allowed to rent F and G rated homes in this day and age. There are still 400,000 of these privately rented homes in England – almost the same number of homes as in Birmingham.

“We support government plans for regulating energy efficiency in the private rented sector but when we get to 2018 there must be effective grants, funding and engagement programmes in place to help landlords make sure they address the homes they rent out. The reality is that landlords may also have to contribute to the cost of these upgrades.

“If landlords look at EPC of the homes they rent out then this is a good way to identify what things can be done now to bring their properties up to scratch.” 

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