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It now appears that at least HMOs will be exempt from meeting the new energy standards which the majority of privately let properties must adhere to from 2018.

Last week we reported that the government had presented regulations to parliament which will oblige landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of those to-let properties currently rated F and G to a minimum of E by 1 April 2018 - or face being unable to let them until they improve the rating.

The government claims that almost 10 per cent of England and Wales' 4.2m privately rented homes currently fall below the E rating.

From April 1 next year, 2016, so only 14 months from now - tenants living in F- and G-rated homes will be able to request improvements such as more insulation and over the following two years landlords will be legally bound to bring homes up to an E-rating.

However, it now appears that HMOs may not be included - a disappointment to many campaigners seeking to improve private rental standards generally and energy efficiency particularly.

Labour MP Alan Whitehead, who has raised related issues in parliament in the past, has told 24dash.com that the failure to bring HMOs within the scope of this legislation will leave a substantial amount of the private rented sector unprotected against leaky, cold properties. I've recently been trying to amend the primary legislation to cover HMOs with a Private Members' Bill but it's a problem that will need urgently addressing by the next government.

One energy supplier, Spark Utility, calculates that around 380,000 non-HMO rental units currently fall into the F or G energy ratings, and these may cost an average of £9,000 to upgrade to at least an E.


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    Has anybody considered or know about what happens when you have purpose built flats in large blocks It would be totally impossible to do much about up rating the energy efficiency of one flat without doing the same for the whole block.

    Some of the slightly older cheap built blocks are not that good. About the only possible fix is to put in double glazing. You can not cavity wall insulate one flat if it is not ground floor and any way there will be two or three walls of the flat which are internal.

    • 16 February 2015 11:33 AM
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    I think you may need to be careful in understanding the word HMO. If you let a house to Janet and Jane and Jane has a young baby, it is an HMO under housing legislation but it does need the EPC and needs to be upgraded. The exemption from ECs is for what I will call "bed sit houses" where each individual has only a tenancy for part of the property and shares the common kitchen lounge etc.

    The logic in excluding these was that the landlord is usually paying the utility bill, but this still won't help save energy.

    • 16 February 2015 09:59 AM
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