UK landlords deny tenants "basic right" by renting out cold homes

Published:  19 September, 2014

Seven in 10 of UK householders say that landlords should not be allowed to let out homes with very poor levels of energy efficiency, according to the Energy Saving Trust's latest UK Pulse public opinion trackers.

The findings from the Ipsos MORI survey of more than 2,000 UK respondents show that this demand is even stronger among renters (nearly eight in 10).

Other findings include:

Under plans proposed by government, English and Welsh landlords will be restricted from renting out their properties from 2018 if they are not rated E or above on the official Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). However, landlords will only have to improve homes to meet the standard where they can access grants to cover the full cost of upgrades, or can persuade tenants to contribute. There is no certainty about what grants will be available when the regulations take effect.

“Being able to live in a home that is easy to heat, free of damp and mould, should be a basic right,” said Philip Sellwood, chief executive at the Energy Saving Trust. “It’s not right that landlords are still allowed to rent F- and G-rated homes in this day and age. There are still 400,000 of these privately rented homes in England.”

He continued: “We support government plans for regulating energy efficiency in the private rented sector, but when we get to 2018 there must be effective grants, funding and engagement programmes in place to help landlords make sure they address the homes they rent out. The reality is that landlords may also have to contribute to the cost of these upgrades.

“If landlords look at EPC of the homes they rent out, then this is a good way to identify what can be done now to bring their properties up to scratch.”