As household fuel bills continue to soar, we're helping tenants of rental properties, and the impact on climate, by checking rental properties with the poorest energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings, to ensure landlords take action to reduce the financial and environmental costs.
We have checked over 300 ‘G’ rated properties, under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations (MEES), which require rental properties to have an energy performance rating of E or above unless a valid exemption has been registered, and contacted landlords of 48 tenanted properties where potential breaches have occurred.
The majority of these landlords have now improved their EPC ratings or are in the process of doing so, but we have issued nine compliance notices that require landlords to evidence the improvements made; and we plan to issue further notices over the coming weeks.
We are also seeking more evidence from around a third of the 75 landlords who have registered for exemptions to the MEES regulations, requesting additional energy efficiency upgrades works be carried out or asking for additional documents to support the exemptions. The EPCs of 28 properties with exemptions have now been improved to E or above, and we are working with a further 13 landlords who are arranging improvements, trying to obtain consents for works or collating necessary evidence.
Landlords can face financial penalties of £1,000 for registering an invalid exemption or for failing to return compliance notices, in some cases following by penalty notices and additional fines of up to £4,000.
Our Executive Member for Housing, Cllr Martin Wrigley, said: “With rents, energy prices and everyday living expenses at an all-time high, home energy efficiency is more important than ever"Improving the energy efficiency of rental properties is key to helping reduce energy bills and fuel poverty for tenants, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet."
“Improving energy efficiency in buildings across Teignbridge will also help us to achieve our commitment to reducing carbon omissions to help support the climate emergency.
“This important work is ongoing, and we will be contacting landlords of non-compliant ‘F’ rated rental properties over the coming weeks and months. We would encourage landlords to check compliance with MEES regulations now.”
One tenant who has benefited from a grant to improve the energy efficiency of her home, said: “I used to have a few old electric heaters that cost too much to turn on. I applied for a grant and my landlord gave permission for works, I had loft insulation and new electric night storage heaters. It’s a much better place to be now that it’s less draughty and I have more affordable heating.”
Loan funding may also be available towards energy efficiency upgrades and other necessary works for tenanted and empty properties via our partners Lendology CIC.
Landlords should also be aware that compliance with MEES regulations does not mean that we will not take action under the Housing Act 2004 to improve conditions for tenants living in excessively cold homes.