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December 5

Generation Rent and Labour Mayor Speak Out on EPCs

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Generation Rent, in collaboration with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, has taken a firm stance against landlords who neglect the improvement of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for their private rental properties. Concurrently, both entities have expressed dissatisfaction with the government, holding it accountable for exacerbating this situation.

In 2021, the unveiling of stringent targets for energy efficiency in the private rental sector marked a significant development. These new regulations demand that EPC ratings attain a minimum of C by the year 2025, with the additional requirement for existing tenancies to align with these standards by 2028. The palpable discontent from Generation Rent and Mayor Sadiq Khan underscores a collective call for a more proactive approach towards enhancing the energy performance of rental properties and ensuring compliance with the established targets.

In a noteworthy development, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s comprehensive review of green policies in September led to the scrapping of various proposals, including those addressing energy efficiency in rental properties. This decision was part of a broader initiative aimed at achieving net-zero targets, signaling a shift in priorities within the environmental policy landscape.

As highlighted by Sadiq Khan’s office, an analysis of the English Housing Survey reveals a substantial number of private rental properties in London, totaling 494,000, currently holding an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of band D or below. This data sheds light on the prevalent state of energy efficiency in the private rental sector, prompting further scrutiny and discussion.

Digging deeper into the implications of these EPC ratings, Khan’s office, in conjunction with national data on energy consumption and prevailing energy prices, makes a compelling assertion. According to their findings, London rented homes with an EPC rating of D or lower incur an average additional heating cost of ¬£337 per year when compared to homes rated C or above. This revelation not only underscores the financial impact on tenants but also adds a layer of urgency to the need for enhanced energy efficiency standards in the rental housing market.

Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent, backs Sadiq Khan’s analysis, emphasizing that the Prime Minister’s decision to cancel plans to elevate minimum energy efficiency standards means landlords are no longer obligated to consent to insulation works, even if government grants cover the costs. This political choice, deemed reckless by Twomey, is resulting in more tenants enduring cold and draughty homes, adversely impacting health and causing financial strain.

Twomey points out that occupants in poorly insulated homes currently bear an additional cost of hundreds of pounds annually compared to those in properly insulated residences. Research conducted by Generation Rent indicates that three in ten renters are dissuaded from applying for grants due to the expectation that landlords will reject such proposals.

In a landscape where rents are soaring and private tenants are burdened with added energy expenses, Twomey echoes the Mayor of London’s call for the government to uphold its previous commitments and compel landlords to enhance the quality of subpar housing.

Sadiq Khan voices his concerns about the challenging circumstances faced by many renters in London and nationwide, as rents escalate and associated costs continue to rise. One impactful measure that ministers could have taken to assist renters is improving energy efficiency. The decision to abandon plans for more stringent standards is viewed by Khan as regrettable, foreseeing a consequence of elevated bills for tenants.

Khan expresses disappointment in actively opting to subject thousands of renters to homes that are cold, inefficient, and expensive. This frustration is compounded by delays in implementing measures to prohibit ‘no-fault evictions.’ Khan proposes that ministers empower cities like London to enforce rent freezes while also urgently reinstating plans to ensure every renter resides in an energy-efficient home.

 

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Tags

EPCs, Generation Rent UK, Mayor Sadiq Khan News


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