Landlords should be allowed to offset spending on insulation and energy-saving improvements against tax, according to the Liberal Democrats.
In a Commons debate on breaking down barriers to opportunity, Wera Hobhouse (pictured), the party’s spokesperson for energy and climate change, said current subsidy schemes were not open to all landlords and could be difficult to access.
Instead, well-targeted incentives for landlords would make the difference for tenants struggling to pay their bills.
Hobhouse pointed to the government’s move away from making landlords meet the EPC C standard by 2025 and asked: “When will we see action to ensure that families do not live in poor-quality housing that is badly insulated, making their energy bills more expensive? We need the landlords on board.”
She told MPs that landlords had contacted her saying they couldn’t afford to upgrade their properties to energy-efficient standards.
“That, too, is just a bit of education, a bit of knowledge that we must share as a matter of urgency.
"I believe that local councils are best placed to be the trusted sources of that type of information, but the government must see them as partners and people to engage with and give them the opportunities and resources that they need in order to share the information that is so badly needed in our communities.”
Hobhouse added that E3G had found that raising the energy standard to a C rating for privately rented homes would save bill payers about £570 a year.
“The government should hold firm and help landlords to meet these targets and keep homes warm this winter. We urgently need to upgrade our housing stock to guarantee warm and comfortable homes for everyone, long into the future.”