Landlords have slammed the Government's new plans to force HMO landlords who operate '�all inclusive' rental properties to pass on the �400 rebate being made available via the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS).
This announcement is an abrupt U-turn '� previously Ministers had told parliament such landlords would only be '�encouraged' to pass on any energy bill support cash to their tenants.
And only yesterday this was reiterated by climate minister Graham Stewart in answer to a question from MP Peter Kyle.
Now, the BBC has reported that ministers are to modify existing or planned legislation to force landlords to pass on the EBSS rebate.
"It's not fair for struggling renters to be left at the mercy of their landlords for this much-needed help when so many are having to count every penny this autumn," says Shelter chief executive Polly Neate.
Chris Norris, Policy Director for the National Residential Landlords Association, says: 'Given payments under the support scheme have not begun to be made, the Government's plans to legislate are premature and are demonising landlords unnecessarily.
'It sends a dangerous and misleading message that landlords cannot be trusted to do the right thing, creating needless fear and anxiety for tenants.
'The reality is that one-off pots of money like this cannot compensate for the fact that the benefits system is systematically failing to protect the most vulnerable tenants.
"At a time when households finances are being squeezed it makes no sense to have frozen housing benefit rates.'�