New energy upgrade rules will affect 200,000 more landlords

Source: Financial Times

 

Around 200,000 landlords may have to pay for energy efficiency upgrades to their properties after the Government increased the cap on the amount this work can cost before exemptions apply.

Since April 2018, rented properties with Energy Performance Certificate ratings of F and G have had to be upgraded to at least E.

Previously landlords could apply for an exemption if the work would cost more than £2,500 for a property.

But the cap has been raised to £3,500, energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry said.

To qualify for an exemption, landlords will need to supply three different quotes to the PRS Exemptions Register, a public database, to prove the work costs more than £3,500.

If not, the work will have to be done during 2019. Examples to improve a property’s energy rating include installing floor and loft insulation or putting in low energy lighting.

If F and G-rated properties are not upgraded, landlords cannot let them out.

Government figures say the move, which is meant to help tenants and cut carbon emissions, will affect 200,000 landlords.

However, landlords can apply for a number of grants and energy schemes to help with the cost of the work.

A Government statement said the cost of any upgrades would be more than offset by an increase in house prices as a result.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler said: “I strongly welcome these new measures, which will help improve the coldest homes, protecting tenants while also saving them money.”

However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), a trade group, said tenants would be better served if all such upgrade work was made tax deductible.

David Smith, of the RLA, said: “It is bizarre that, for example, replacing a broken boiler is classed as a tax deductible repair, but this is not the case if a landlord wants to replace an old boiler with one that is more energy efficient.”

Source :

Telegraph

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