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MPs want more energy info given to renters before tenancies are signed

MPs and members of the House of Lords want private sector tenants to be given clearer up-front information on the cost of all utility bills before signing a tenancy agreement, as well as about their right to change energy suppliers

Schemes to improve the energy efficiency of private rented housing are too complex leading to a large number of properties unlikely to meet energy rating requirements by the 2018 deadline according to the All Party Parliamentary Group for the private rented sector. 

From April 2018, all privately rented properties will be required to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate. This is likely to pose significant challenges given that privately rented homes are generally older and harder to treat than properties in other tenures.

The report concludes that landlords, local authorities and energy companies need to better co-ordinate their efforts to identify vulnerable tenants who will most benefit from energy efficiency improvements.

To tackle the problem the group is calling for incentives for landlords to implement energy efficiency improvements through being able to offset costs against rental income.

It also says that prospective tenants should be given clearer up-front information on the likely cost of all utility bills prior to entering a tenancy agreement as well as about their right to change energy suppliers.

Energy companies, according to the MPs and Peers, should also look at establishing new tariffs targeted at those less well-off customers.

“The government has set ambitious targets for improvements to the energy efficiency of private rented housing and rightly so. To meet these it is clear that much clearer information is needed for both landlords and tenants to understand their rights and responsibilities and the help available to improve the energy efficiency of the rental housing stock” says the group’s chair, Conservative MP Oliver Colvile. 

“Tenants especially need much clearer information on their rights to change energy suppliers whilst energy companies, local authorities and landlords need to do more together to identify vulnerable tenants in need of most help to keep the cost of their Bills down.”

The inquiry’s report has been compiled following two oral evidence sessions and received written evidence from over 30 organisations.

  • Mark Wilson

    More paper!

  • Gareth   GB

    All you need to do is contact Utilitease and we will be your Utility support team, this is what we do and it is free.

    We offer a free notification service for any change of tenancy occurring within an agent’s portfolio, and notify the relevant Councils, Energy & Water suppliers, and track all of those notifications, thus protecting our agent/client from current and upcoming legislation.

    We support the "Power to Switch" campaign and offer a full, whole of market, comparison service to all tenants for energy, telecoms and insurance services, and can also look after void periods, with our direct association and strong links with chosen major suppliers.

    We believe that customer care is paramount for all of our clients, and in addition, we pay generous monthly commissions to you, our agent, together with a fully itemised statement of account, thus ensuring total transparency in everything we do.

    We believe that customer care is paramount for all of our clients, and in addition, we pay generous monthly commissions to you, our agent, together with a fully itemised statement of account, thus ensuring total transparency in everything we do.

    *We believe the tenant is always your client, so if we are able to help those tenants again within their tenancy period, there is another commission opportunity.

    *Unlike other utility management companies, Utilitease are happy to deal with properties that have prepaid meters within them.

    *We have a dedicated support team and will always answer phone calls or ring you straight back: Some team members are multilingual so this allows us to communicate effectively with many nationalities.

    your next step is simple.
    email me for more details gareth.bowles@iesltd-uk.com or contact Mobile: 07918 080007 Head Office: 01623 880095

  • Paul Tate

    At the age of 18 you are considered responsible enough to vote for our members of Parliament. If taken seriously this is a complex decision. I am not aware of every having let a property to anyone below this age, (ie to a minor). This being the case where does a Politician get the idea that a Tenant is not an adult and can not take responsibility for themselves? Tenants are not children and must take responsibility for themselves for the basics in life of which this must be one.

    As food for thought....If this is so important then why are they not teaching this in the final year at school..... or making it mandatory (at the prospective Tenant's expense) that all tenants have to pass a basic government exam on how to run a household before they are allowed to rent a property? The Government does this for driving licences and car manufacturers are not responsible for the driver's errors or the costs of obtaining the Licence.

    Gareth   GB

    Hi Paul,

    The Government are just making sure that tenants register their occupancy and that is already law. I can assure you that even though it is law sometimes it is not done - this is why we formed the Utilitease business.

    I can also assure you that legislation is being looked at, to make it compulsory for letting agents and all the rental sector to show that they have registered a tenant for a home. This is because of bad debts incurred by water companies, gas and electric suppliers caused by non registrations moving in and also moving out.

    We provide these notifications free of charge and make sure our clients are covered for any changes in legislation.

    The Government are doing their job to inform sometimes the vulnerable that they have the same opportunity to change supply. Yes I do mean the vulnerable that do not know how to compare in the market or understand Gas and Electric tariffs or use a computer.

    Personally I don't think a teacher could tell you about tariffs or the best supplier and this is why we have qualified members of our Utilitease Support Team to help people make their personal choice.

    I hope this helps

     
  • icon

    MPs dreaming again?
    As usual a great idea but no practical nouse. You can dump a perfectly good old car after ten years use and buy a new one. Just make sure you ignore the pollution cost of making a new car and getting it to the customer. The similar turnover for a house is at least a hundred years and typically more.

    I am sure Utilitease do what they say but they are a cost that has to be paid for by the tenant even if the tenant does not know it.

    I have raised this before here but just how do you improve a single flat in a development complex? I venture to say that this is impossible beyond fitting double glazing of the plastic type.

    We do not get involved with utilities. Tenants are told how to use the supplies that are connected etc. but we make it clear we have no further interest except to maintain pipes and wiring.

    How many landlords are prepared to offer a life style help service to tenants? This seem to be the tone of points made in the article. These days any one offering advice needs to have a training course at their expense and then have insurance in case they get it wrong. I would not like to be in a position of advising for a tenants finances and being liable for their problems. It would be much better to get tenants trained in how to live in a house. They could be given a certificate which would make them preferred tenants so that they could rent better properties at a discount.

    I am taking this matter very seriously.

    Gareth   GB

    Hi Fred

    I can assure you there is no cost to the tenant or the letting agent. Utilitease is totally transparent in all that we do.

    Utilitease works with many of the leading associations and I have recently been working with government departments. We are due to launch a new and exciting service to the private landlord sector, housing associations and councils. So I can assure you that this is a reality for the future.

    Yes all of our advisers in the Utilitease Support team are trained and have stringent guidelines to follow.

    We offer full "Choice of Market" and we support the "Power to Switch" Campaign.

    If you would like to find out more about how our service does not cost the tenant, letting agent, landlord, housing associations and councils please contact me directly on 07918 080 007 or email gareth.bowles@iesltd-uk.com

    To reiterate this service is totally free to the tenant, agent and is already tried and tested in the market place.

     
  • icon

    Never been asked for an EPC yet. Properties are upgraded as items come to end of life; boilers, double glazing, etc. If the gov hadnt messed on getting rid of filament lamps for so long they be long gone. Just needs targeting at the materials not Landlords.

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