Plans to make it illegal for rental properties that do not have loft and cavity insulation to come on the market have been dismissed as blatant electioneering.
The ban suggested by the Government could come in as early as 2015. At the same time, EPCs would have to be shown on all letting adverts.
The plans are part of the Household Energy Management Strategy published last week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This sets out how homes will contribute towards a reduction in carbon use over the next decade.
Other proposals include a roll-out of ‘smart’ meters in every home, and RICS valuers having to take account of the energy efficiency of properties when making their valuations.
The document makes much of the fact that private rental stock is not nearly as energy efficient as social housing stock.
However, as the document itself says, this is because 40% of private rental stock is pre-1919, whereas social rental stock is much newer. Even so, private rental properties are acknowledged as being more energy-efficient that the average owner-occupied house.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, attacked the document as a piece of electioneering landlord-bashing.
He said: “We all believe in the need to improve the energy efficiency of our property stock and will therefore rise above the Government’s electioneering landlord-bashing and look at each of these proposals on its merits.
“Up until now, the Government has taken a sensible policy approach in encouraging landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes by providing incentives for them to do so. The problem has been that the Government is woeful at advertising them, meaning that very few landlords have taken up what is available.”
He added: “The idea that a private rented property will have to meet a minimum level of insulation before it can be rented out is ill thought out, for who is likely to check this and where is the need for homes going to come from if it is not met?
“The Government has so far failed to police the use of the much more visible EPC, and will surely fail should they proceed with this policy.
“The Government would do much better trying to focus on how it is going to become more effective at marketing help for landlords and consumers rather than headline grabbing announcements such as this.”http://www.decc.gov.uk/default.aspx