Hot on the heels of our recent blog about the new EPC Green Deal regulations, we have today seen more news about energy efficiency measures that will effect some landlords.
OK then, we know the current government has a beef about energy efficiency in rented property, and how much governments love to bow down to all things Euro, but seriously, cracking down on low efficiently rated property lets by making it unlawful to rent them out is just ludicrous. Nothing big was ever achieved using the stick rather than the carrot.
Any property with an ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating will become unlawful to rent out. Hang on, lets think about this for a second. If you were a landlord who owns one of these properties would you
a) be likely to have an EPC on it in the first place?
b) bother whether the govt says you can rent it or not?
c) wonder how the govt will even get know or police it?
If you are one of those landlords, it’s more likely that you will just do nothing. According to government stats, there are about 681,000 properties in these bands, but there are no statistics showing how many are buy to lets! If the data does not exist then how can they make this viable? On the surface it seems a bit of a woolly idea.
Now we love to highlight Eco issues on this blog, so we are not anti Green by any stretch, however I just can’t envisage how this would work in practice or how it will be policed.
Since buy to let was invented, properties falling into these bands have halved, which means plenty of landlords are already keen to keep their properties in better nick without the battering ram of enforced updating via a loan on the property to add green features like insulation.
What Classifies As Reasonable?
And, if this isn’t enough, as the new Green Deal kicks in we will see rules such as “landlords not being able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants, or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property.”
Hmm so I’m thinking….what the heck will qualify as “reasonable?” Because, as any landlord knows, tenants can be anything but reasonable at times. And that term in particular is open to abuse if it’s not clarified. Now, it does not stop there either, in further statements surrounding the Green Deal government officials said they would “get tough” on landlords who don’t comply. Which leads to the question; Get tough how?
They have stated that they want the tenant to ‘have a voice’ so that those living in draughty, poorly insulated homes are more protected. Not a bad idea in essence, but forcing a loan on a property paid back from the energy savings? I’m not feeling the love. What do you think? please add your comments below