Tenants urged to get help with their homes

EPC certificate

Tenants are being urged to encourage their landlords to take advantage of a scheme which can help heat up their homes.

Hambleton District Council is part of a consortium of Yorkshire councils to benefit from cash from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to raise awareness and enforce rules around energy efficiency standards.

It aims to help raise standards in private rented accommodation while also addressing tenants’ fuel poverty and providing healthy, affordable homes.

Since April last year, privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC E. The legislation makes it illegal to rent out homes below that standard, unless landlords have a limited exemption.  Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined up to £5,000 per property and per breach.

The District Council has started screening all known rented properties for their EPC ratings and found 578 with either an F or G rating.  Only 41 of these have a registered exemption.   Each property will receive a letter this month advising them to improve those ratings and will be provided with information on local grant schemes. Properties that remain substandard will be progressed onto enforcement.  

“Many times we find tenants do not understand the EPC rating certificate they receive when renting out a property – and do not realise that it is illegal to be below EPC E,” said Director of Environment, Paul Staines.

“We can help to rectify that – there are grants available that can contribute towards bringing homes up to high standards whether that is for insulation, new windows or better heating systems.  And this will benefit the tenant as well as the landlord – bringing down heating costs as well as providing a warmer home.”

A properties EPC can be checked free of charge on the Government’s website: https://www.epcregister.com/

As part of the government’s decarbonisation strategy, a recent public consultation invited comments on a proposal to amend The Energy Efficiency Regulations and bring forward the legal standard to a ‘C’ by 2025 for all new tenancies and by 2028 for existing tenancies. The proposal also included raising the landlord spending cap to £10,000.

For more information contact Environmental Health Residential Services on 01609 767138 or email:  Joy.Swithenbank@hambleton.gov.uk

Landlords can also find advice and guidance at: www.gov.uk; and https://www.hambleton.gov.uk/housing/minimum-energy-performance-certificates/2?documentId=73&categoryId=20043

Published: 18th November 2021

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