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Written by rosalind renshaw

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.”



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    Do you ahve any idea how much it costs to wall insulate a solid brick (including poor cavity wall)or a stone property. Your lovely Elizabethan, Victorian or Georgian home will look marvellous with outside cladding and no it isn't simple to dryline inside either, major headaches with windows, doors, fittings etc. The cost is enormous. Another case of Bureaucratic non-sense. God help us if they get in again.

    • 09 March 2010 20:21 PM
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    Nobody is interested in Energy Ratings.Tenants don't even look at them. Recently Ofgem has just changed all the regulations regarding the way Energy Companies quote people for their Gas and Electric. Why did they not take EPC's ratings into account in preparing these quotes. The formula's that work out these ratings are still very poor. Maybe we should concentrate on the accuracy of EPC's. Potentially taking into account what the cost of replacing crappy condensing boiler parts at £200.00 per call out.

    • 09 March 2010 12:41 PM
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    I trust the Government are going to pay for the loft and cavity wall insulation?!

    • 08 March 2010 18:48 PM
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    Great more red tape while the dodgy diy landlord just ignores it:: epc's for private landlords,,,no fear

    • 08 March 2010 13:46 PM
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    It all started with the ban on foxhunting - now they are working on getting everyone out of their Damarts.

    • 08 March 2010 13:37 PM
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    What a country this is becoming.
    We will soon have to get government permission to get out of bed or even to breathe!
    What happened to the much flaunted "Consumer Choice" in everything?Fight the plan to ban, on every possible front!

    • 08 March 2010 12:21 PM
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    You cannot MAKE a landlord or a seller for that matter install loft or cavity wall insulation! Simply not possible. EPCs should be shown on all details, residential sales, lettings and commercial property. There is far too much 'non compliance' at present and this needs to be addressed first! The consumer then has the choice to accept a property or reject it.

    • 08 March 2010 10:16 AM
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    Not a problem as long as it is a level playing field and all privately sold properties have to satisfy the same requirements

    • 08 March 2010 09:49 AM