Landlords urged to undertake energy efficiency work
Private landlords are being encouraged to help tenants by improving energy efficiency.
Since November, Hambleton District Council has contacted more than 200 landlords in the district as part of a campaign to ensure their properties meet the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) set by government.
By law, homes rented out by private landlords should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above. Regulations require them to invest up to £3,500 on specified energy efficiency improvements such as loft or cavity wall insulation, high heat retention electric heaters, air source heat pumps and draught proofing.
So far, 85 of the 600 affected properties across Hambleton have been brought up to MEES following intervention by council officers. Landlords have improved a further 52 properties on their own account. And they are in the process of carrying out improvements to a further 200 homes so that they also comply with the standard.
“The great majority of private landlords recognise their obligations to tenants and the need to comply with the law,” said Cabinet Portfolio Holder, Councillor Stephen Watson. “They understand the need to invest in their properties in order to make them fit and affordable to rent.”
He said the council recognises that some properties cannot be brought up to the standard required, either because of the extent of the work required or because it would be too disruptive to the tenants. In these cases, the council is working with landlords to register valid exemptions under the regulations.
“A very small number of landlords have chosen not to meet their legal obligations and continue to let substandard properties in contravention of the regulations. The council can and will impose financial penalties up to £5,000 per property on such irresponsible landlord,” he added.
“The council is committed to tackling climate change, and improving domestic energy efficiency is a key part of our action plan. We recognise the importance of helping tenants in this time of spiralling energy costs.”
Tenants can check the Energy Performance rating of a property by going on the government website and entering the postal address of a property.