Energy ratings improve after selective licensing

Nottingham’s private rented sector has seen a big improvement in energy ratings since the introduction of selective licensing.

The licensing scheme came into effect in August 2018, to improve standards in the private rented sector. Since then there has been a 47.8% reduction of E, F or G rated Energy Performance Certificates – which are the least energy efficient grades.

An EPC

Since the introduction, properties with these ratings now account for just 14.7% in July/August 2019 compared to 25.9% in the final quarter of 2017/18.

The latest figures also show private landlords are completing more EPCs since selective licensing was introduced – between April and August 2019 there was an average of thirteen per day compared to just three per day during 2018.

As part of the application process, landlords must supply an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their property. They could then be asked to improve energy performance in the home if needed. Examples of improvement measures include installing floor insulation, low energy lighting, increasing loft insulation, or changing to a more efficient heating system.

Also in the last eight months, the Government has introduced new rules on energy efficiency and renting – meaning landlords of cold homes will have to improve the insulation and/ or heating of property before they can rent it out to new tenants or issue a renewal of an existing tenancy agreement.  The new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations apply to any privately rented home banded F or G (the bottom two bandings) on an Energy Performance Certificate.

Improving the energy efficiency of private rented homes will not only improve comfort and reduce energy bills but will reduce ill-health. National Energy Action estimates that 10,000 deaths each year are attributable to living in a cold home, similar to the number of people who die from breast or prostate cancer each year.

Landlords must disclose the energy rating of the property when they advertise it, and they must show the full Energy Performance Certificate to potential tenants at a viewing.  If the certificate isn’t offered at this stage, tenants should ask the estate agent to supply it.

Tenants should make sure to check the EPC rating before agreeing to rent a home. If you are already renting, then you should ask your landlord or managing agent to provide it. If the rating is low, you can speak to them about what steps they are taking to improve it by April 2020 – which is when new laws come in protecting those already renting.

If no action is taken to improve an F or G rated home, the council should be able to help. Under housing health and safety rules we are obliged to help tenants in dangerously cold homes. The council can order landlords to make energy saving improvements.

You can contact Safer Housing by email safer.housing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

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