There is growing pressure aimed at landlords to improve energy efficiency in rental homes. Seven out of 10 UK householders agree that landlords should be forbidden from renting out homes which have low levels of heat – effectively energy inefficient homes. This is according to a recent report by the Energy Saving Trust’s latest Pulse survey that is used to track public opinion. What does this mean for Eastbourne landlords? These figures were even higher amongst renters. The Ipsos Mori survey found that of 2000 renters who responded at least 8 out of 10 agreed. Whilst there is no new legislation to backup these strong public feelings landlords who wish to uphold strong reputations and create a future of solid growth and tenant satisfaction should take note. Other findings concluded in this survey that affect landlords are that:
- Many of those tenants who rent homes are the ones who find it hardest to heat them properly. The figures showed 51% of these claimed they experienced homes that were too cold during the winter.
- It seems that tenants who rent are also more concerned about their overall energy consumption and what they are charged for it. Of these 80% said that the cost of their heating bill are a worry compared to 71% of owner occupiers.
- 11% of rental tenants believed that their landlord should be responsible for making their rental properties more energy efficient.
- The figures show that private rental tenants were those that were most interested in renewable domestic energy such as solar panels, and of these 75% advised they were more likely to rent a property that fitted this description.
What does the future hold for Eastbourne housing?
The government has proposed plans that by 2018 all English and Welsh landlords must make their rental properties comply with guidelines for E rated Energy Performance Certificates by 2018 or be restricted from renting them. The small print does lean in favour of landlords as it says that the duty to do this is only where there are grants to cover the full cost of the upgrades or where the landlord can persuade the tenants to contribute. Of course there is no certainty of what grants will be available to both tenants and landlords in England and Wales by 2018 and so this new ruling remains for now a moot point.
Do landlords have a moral responsibility to rent energy efficient properties?
Whilst the legislation may not yet back up the public view that rental properties should be energy efficient do we as landlords have a moral responsibility to provide it anyway. Phillip Sellwood the chief executive at The Energy Saving Trust had this to say on the subject, “being able to live in a home that is easy to heat, free of damp and mold, should be a basic right. 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”.
It seems that regardless of new legislation, public opinion in Eastbourne is unanimous: the moral onus is on landlords to upgrade their properties or be seen to disregard the well being of their tenants.
This is not the only recent issue that Landlords are facing; see our article on ”Rental Properties Haunted by Ghost Tenants” and ”Landlords Must Not Turn a Blind Eye to Criminal Tenants” for further information.