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Government Energy Efficiency Targets Threaten to Push Rents Higher

May 19, 2016 | Landlord News  

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The RLA has warned that further changes that the government plans to put into place to bring housing up to standard may have the unintended knock on effect of pushing up rental prices.

The government has released a series of energy efficiency targets to bring up the average level of ‘energy efficient’ properties in the private rental sector that would enhance the living of millions of tenants across the UK whilst bringing down energy bills.

These guidelines, which the government warns will be enforced with strict punishments for those not abiding, lay out for all properties to score at least an ‘E’ rating on their energy efficiency testing. Those landlords failing to meet these terms will be blocked from letting out their property to new tenants without addressing the areas that are stopping their property from meeting the requirements.

This follows a series of changes to the private rental sector, and is only aimed at the PRS – no other sectors of housing will be affected by this change. The RLA and other private rental authorities are already calling for the government to push back the date for these changes to go into effect (currently April 2018) to give Landlords the chance to make the necessary changes to meet the standards.

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Whilst the grade the government is asking for (E) isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for any property, it is important to understand the context that around 18% of homes in the UK were built pre-1919 which means they are pre-cavity walls. These changes could require landlords to not only look to install solid wall insulation but also to consider upgrading to double-glazed windows and combination boilers in order to bring down extra costs and increase the property efficiency.

The main problem stems from the government having already cracked down on the margins from where private sector landlords could make their profits, and now expecting them to shell out for a series of renovation efforts makes the industry experts worried that landlords will either decide the market is no longer profitable enough to keep letting, or drive up rents to help cover costs.

There is one advantage to these changes however; tenants will benefit immensely from reduced utility bills and warmer homes as the energy efficiency guidelines are designed to improve the standards of living for all UK tenants and bring them to an acceptable level across the board.

Landlords should be looking to inspect their properties immediately and identify the problem areas for energy efficiency and put together an affordable and achievable plan that can help bring their property into line with these requirements without breaking the bank. Let Leeds offers a professional refurbishment service that can provide a fully detailed inspection of your property and offer cost-effective solutions to your energy efficiency needs.

Why not call our friendly team who will be happy to advise and assist regarding the energy requirements of your rental property. Should you wish to book a free consultation why not contact our professional team via 0113 322 9242.

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