The Association of Residential Letting Agents is demanding 'property MOTs' to help landlords trying to meet new energy efficiency targets.
The government’s target is for all private rented properties to be EPC rated C by 2030.
But because landlords have limited access to funding, many are selling up and passing ‘fuel poor’ homes to owner-occupier buyers.
Now ARLA Propertymark wants government to introduce a property MOT rather than focusing solely on EPCs. The benefit of this is that a property MOT would encompass all areas of property standards including energy efficiency.
It says the private rental sector has the greatest numbers of energy inefficient stock and does not receive funding support. The social sector has the highest number of properties rated EPC A, B and C yet continues to receive millions in funding, claims ARLA.
To incentivise private landlords to make improvements, it says the government needs to reintroduce the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance and focus Energy Company Obligation towards the private rental sector, by using EPC gradings as criteria rather than tenant’s income.
“As it stands, the government’s target for all private rented homes to have an EPC rating of C by 2030 will not be met. With the collapse of the Green Deal, the private rented sector has been left little in the way of funding in order to raise energy efficiency within the tenure” explains David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive.
“Last year the government ended its dedication under the Energy Act 2011 for energy efficiency improvements to come with no ‘upfront cost’ to landlords by introducing a capped contribution of up to £3,500. The increasing financial burden faced by landlords is being passed on to tenants through rent increases, and some buy-to-let investors are leaving the sector altogether.
“If the Clean Growth Strategy target is to be met, the government needs to act fast in providing support to private landlords. ECO funding now needs to be focussed on improving the energy efficiency of private rented stock, and the LESA should be reintroduced and extended to include the contents of the Recommendations Report found in an EPC.”
Recently the UK’s largest provider of inventory services, No Letting Go, said the creation of an MOT certificate system for properties in the rental sector would be the next logical step to improve standards.