A local authority currently consulting on private rental licensing is using improved energy efficiency as one of the criteria for landlords being allowed to let.
The National Landlords Association has spotted that Walsall council’s consultation on its proposed licensing regime says that the EPC on a property will influence the licensing fee to be paid by a landlord who otherwise passes the usual criteria.
“Discounts are available for properties with an A, B or C rating. In contrast, properties rated E, F and G rated properties facing penalty charges of up to £300” according to the council documentation.
The authority also says that from April 1 next year “the council will refuse to licence any property with an EPC rating of F or G” - even though this actually goes beyond the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards that come into force at the same time.
The NLA says this goes too far and will be part of its objection to the licensing proposals as a whole.
“In particular we will highlight how these clauses will be detrimental to tenants who will face eviction, and landlords will be left with properties they can no longer rent out due to no fault of their own” says the NLA.
“For example, some energy efficiency work requires third party permissions such as from the freeholder, mortgage lender, planning permission from the council or even consent from the tenants themselves.
“If this consent cannot be secured then under the MEES regulations they would be exempt. However, under Walsall council’s plans if this consent cannot be secured then the property cannot be let without being in breach of the licencing scheme and the tenant would have to be evicted.”