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Give tenants power to trigger energy improvements - Generation Rent

Campaign group Generation Rent says private tenants could miss out on an energy efficiency drive if they are not given the right to demand improvements to the properties they live in.

In a warning letter sent to energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng the campaign - which is led by Baroness Alicia Kennedy - says the recent English Housing Survey found that of 4.8m private rented homes some 459,000 failed the Decent Homes Standard on thermal comfort criteria. 

The Green Homes Grant was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this month to provide up to £5,000 for measures to improve energy efficiency in owner occupied and private rented homes. 


But the campaign claims that as things stand, private renters have to rely on their landlord to apply for the grant and - it says in a statement - “landlords have little incentive to make improvements.”

Baroness Kennedy says: “Landlords have been allowed to get away with letting out poorly insulated homes and as a result too many private renters cannot afford to heat their homes properly. The Green Homes Grant is a huge opportunity to rectify this, but nothing will happen unless the government makes it easy for renters to benefit and tells them about it. If renters are shut out of the process we’ll miss this chance to improve the quality of rented homes and reduce renters’ bills.”

A 2016 survey by Generation Rent found that one in 13 private tenants actually had their energy bills paid by their landlords and included in their rent. 

“Moreover, 2019 Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations mean landlords with F- and G-rated properties are only obliged to spend up to £3,500 on improvements” says the group.

It continues: “The lack of security in private tenancies acts as a further obstacle to retrofitting private rented homes - the 2016 survey found just 17 per cent of private renters have asked for energy efficiency measures.”

Generation Rent now demands the government should:

- promote the Green Homes Grant to private renters with an easy way to access their Energy Performance Certificate and identify potential improvements;

- enable renters to request quotes from accredited installers and send these to the landlord, “minimising the administration burden for the landlord”;

- ringfence part of the scheme’s budget for improvements to private rented properties, especially where those properties are occupied by people in or at risk of fuel poverty;

- record the tenure of every property that benefits from the grants to aid assessment of the impact of the scheme on the private rented sector”;

- temporarily lift the cap for MEES to £8,500 to account for the £5,000 available under the Green Homes Grant.

  • James B

    What planet do these people live on
    Most tenants can’t be bothered to report repairs that isn’t affecting them

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    • 31 July 2020 08:18 AM

    What right does anyone have to decide what to do with my property and MY money?
    There is only one person. That is ME!
    If you don't like it. Then you must leave the property.

    Algarve  Investor

    Surely it's in your interests for your home to be more energy efficient, if that isn't already the case?

  • girish mehta

    Another expense for the landlord to give to these needy tenants, a freebie.Tenants will have to pay higher rents and both the government and tanents need to start to dig deep into their pockets and pay higher rents as business it is not viable for landlords to keep on paying for tenants freebies it does not make business case
    And Allow them to live in their property rent free and damaging it while they are there.

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    • 31 July 2020 08:23 AM

    Unless these grants can achieve EPC C status at zero cost to the LL then all pretty pointless as it won't be worth the LL retaining the property.

    It would take decades to achieve payback.
    I think to achieve C status most terrace properties would need IWI or EWI.
    Not wanted at all.

    Potentially many rental properties will leave the PRS as they won't be able to meet EPC C status in 8 years time.
    Best to sell these dud properties now.


    Is that the deadline for band C…2028?

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    Absolute nonsense. Must be done on a per property basis, from which tenants will benefit. I’ve never met such an entitled bunch of people!! Never grateful.

  • girish mehta

    80% of renters are ok with the housing needs and honour their commitment and Are happy with their housing, meets their needs. Some may need improvements .The new build which hare supposed to meet all standards are no better then old brick house . improvement to all houses can be done can with all stakeholders working together.it is only small portion of tenants who think that the world owes them a living and so call charities band together to make the noise so they can get more freebies.and unfortunately the politician pander to their wishes in order to get their votes. Money will run out and you will see these people squabbling.

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    • 31 July 2020 09:34 AM

    So, according to your above notice, (and below),I can no longer talk about feckless tenants anymore?
    What happened to FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

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    They like the word demand a lot don’t they. Kind of like the way they like the word free. It’s funny that great tenants who work hard pay there bills and just generally get on with there lives wouldn’t touch generation rent with a barge pole. That’s because good tenants are always in demand and don’t need such businesses to help them. Because like shelter they are a salary paying business.

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    • 31 July 2020 11:16 AM

    @Algarve Investor

    Why is in my interest? I don't pay the heating and water bills.
    I like my house as it is. And I don't want to invest any more cash in it.

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    By all means let tenants have the right to ask for improvements BUT only when they are completely up to date with their rent. That will focus a few minds.

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    I'd like to know where the Landlords association and ARLA's instant rebuttal of this nonsense is? if someone doesn't act soon before you know it we will be back to the 70's unable to evict tenants for any reason at all and highly restrictive rent caps which will destroy many private individuals and make it impossible to sell their property with tenants in situ.

  • icon

    "Generation Rent now demands the government should:
    - promote the Green Homes Grant to private renters with an easy way to access their Energy Performance Certificate and identify potential improvements;"

    How much easier could it be to access your EPC than going to the web site and entering your postcode. Just shows the lack of knowledge of Generation Rant.


    David, that means them having to do something. I’ve lost count of the number of times a tenant has asked about something in the AST or Inventory because they cannot be bothered to look. Of course now that we cannot charge the little darlings for our time, it is easier to just email them a copy.

    Tenants must have, before signing the AST, copies of the EPC, Electric and Gas certificates and the How to Rent guide so GR are talking out of the wrong end as usual. Technically the EPC must be seen before they even view. Check any property portal and see it displayed or a link to it.

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    I love the expression"talking out of the wrong end", so apt.

  • girish mehta

    You want something then work for it . Want energy efficiency then accept to pay higher rent, you want to live in a palace then pay for the upkeep and pay to live in it. Don't expect freebies and complain when the landlords wants to get rid of you when you are not capable of looking and honouring your side of the deal.
    landlords have to do the same, they cant pay the mortgage they loose the property. the don't go crying to government so called charities to demand change on law so they can love for free.
    Tanents get enough help form the DWP, the government and councils and now the justice system.
    if you cant pay don't expect landlords to support you life style or move back to mum and dad till you all grow up and become homeless and let council and the government find a better for you to live for free. Generation rent and anyone supporting your cause need to grow up and live in the real world

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    I have emailed them already. We need a Spammer button to make it easier to report it to LAT.


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