In order to enhance the quality of living in the private rented sector, and also to help cut the energy bills of millions of UK renters, the government has taken measures that will force landlords to meet a minimum requirement. From April 2018, all rental properties will have to have an energy efficiency performance rating of at least an E.
The private rented sector is the only sector that is required to meet these energy efficiency targets. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) claims that this is both unfair to landlords, and could actually be detrimental to tenants.
The RLA claim that the costs of carrying out the necessary improvements to meet the minimum EE rating will end up being passed on to the tenant via rent rises, thereby somewhat negating the positives. For this reason, they are calling on the government to push back the deadline to give buy-to-let property owners more time, spreading out the costs to avoid rental spikes.
Chief among the numerous challenges involved in meeting the requirement is the age of a sizable proportion of PRS homes. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of homes in the sector were built prior to the introduction of cavity walls (1919). Many older properties are difficult, i.e, expensive, to upgrade.
On its own, it’s perhaps not such a big deal. But taken together with what the RLA calls “an alarming tranche of measures” that are “anti-PRS landlords,” (such as immigration checks, stamp duty hike, restriction of mortgage interest relief to the basic rate, etc.) they suggest it would be wise to give landlords a break for once.