Around 200,000 landlords will need to find an average £1,200 to upgrade each of their rented homes – or face a lettings ban, after the government raises the bar for exemptions from energy efficiency legislation.
Current rules stipulate that buy to let landlords cannot rent to new tenants if their home rates F or G – the lowest categories on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – unless the property is exempt from current rules because the upgrade would cost £2,500 or more.
Next year, the cap will rise to £3,500 for homes in England and Wales.
The average improvement cost is expected to come in at £1,200 per home with around 290,000 homes targeted for the upgrade. The work is expected to save tenants around £180 a year on energy bills.
The improvements include works like insulating walls or floors, installing low energy lighting and laying thicker loft insulation.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “While most landlords take great pride in the properties they own, a minority still rent out housing that is difficult to keep warm. Upgrading these homes so they are more energy efficient is one of the most effective ways to tackle fuel poverty and help bring down bills for their tenants.
“Everyone should be protected against the cold in their own home and today’s announcement will bring this reality closer.”
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said: “I strongly welcome these new measures, which will help improve the coldest homes, protecting tenants whilst also saving them money.
“This builds on our on-going work to crack down on the small minority of rogue landlords and drive up standards in the Private Rented Sector, including through our reviews of health and safety standards and carbon monoxide alarm requirements in the home.”