Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

A survey conducted by online letting agents PropertyLetByUs.com shows a growing trend for tenants to make requests to their landlords to make improvements to the property, with new boilers and double glazing top of their lists.

PropertyLetByUs.com claim that more than half of the tenants surveyed said they were being forced to live in cold and draughty rental homes because their landlords refuse requests to make energy efficiency improvements.

However, from the 1st April 2016 tenants will be able to request consent from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to privately rented properties and the landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent.

It will, however, be the responsibility of tenants to ensure that the works are funded and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless the landlord agrees to contribute.

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There are separate regulations requiring properties to be brought up to an E rating on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which are effective from the 1st April 2018.

It had previously been suggested that landlords would be able to apply for loans using the Green Deal scheme to make the necessary improvements, which would then be repaid by tenants who benefit from lower bills. However, the Green Deal has been scrapped and the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is now proposing that after April 2018 property owners provide the money.

Landlords who let out Victorian and Edwardian era homes are likely to be most affected by this as these types of properties are typically less energy efficient compared to homes built over the past decade or so. But listed buildings are except from the minimum EPC rating on an “E”. The average house is “D” rated. To achieve the minimum “E” it’s really not that hard at all says one expert. It’s only properties with no insulation at all, and no heating system (other than on-peak heaters) that tend to be affected.

PropertyLetByUs.com claim that more than 10m British families, based on EU data, currently reside in a home with a leaking roof, damp walls or rotting windows.

Damp, condensation and mould is particular problem in many rental properties as a result of older, single glazed homes, according to Jane Morris, managing director of PropertyLetByUs.com.

She commented:

“It is very disappointing to see that so many tenants have been refused when they have requested their landlords make improvements to the property. Landlords that are trying to rent cold, draughty and damp accommodation should immediately start improving their properties; otherwise, they could be falling foul of the legislation that requires them to bring their properties up to an E rating.

“It is estimated that around one million tenants are paying as much as £1,000 a year more for heating than the average annual bill of £1,265. These excessive costs are mainly down to poorly insulated homes, many of which are thought to be the oldest and leakiest rental properties in Europe.

“Landlords that are currently renting out F and G rated properties should be looking at the improvements they can make and researching costs and available help through the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) or Home Energy Scotland.”

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.
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