Due to low take-up by landlords and concerns over industry standards, the Government has decided to cease all further funding of the Green Deal Finance Company, which they now view as a waste of taxpayers’ money. However, this does not impact existing Green Deal finance plans or pending home improvement applications and vouchers.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd says that her first priority is to get spending under control. In order to protect families and businesses, she says, the Green Deal must be scrapped.
The Department for Communities and Local Government will maintain its plan to improve the UK’s existing housing stock, which will affect an estimated 330,000 landlords who own Edwardian or Victorian era properties. From April 2018, the energy efficiency of homes must be raised to a minimum of Band E.
Richard Jones, policy adviser at the Residential Landlords Association, has hit out at the move, branding it a “stealth tax” that threatens the finances of the sector. He said: “Unless they make funding available, landlords will be forced to pass these costs on to tenants in the form of higher rents. It could also make being a buy-to-let landlord prohibitive. They could struggle to find such a large amount of money upfront.”
The Government claims that the overall impact on rent levels will be minimal, and assumes that most landlords have “a significant amount of equity against which they might borrow.”