New rules allow tenants to seek consent for energy efficiency improvements

Sunday, April 17th, 2016 -

New regulations introduced earlier this month enable tenants to seek their landlord’s consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements.

The new rules have been introduced under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Sector)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 to help improve energy efficiency in the private rental sector, where some of the least energy efficient properties are found.

From 1 April 2016, a private tenant can seek approval to install certain energy efficiency improvements by writing to their landlord, outlining what measures they want to carry out and how they will be funded. The new rules do not require the landlord to pay for the work.

Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse permission and must respond in writing within a month. The regulations do set out various scenarios where permission can be refused, such as where the work would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%.

If the tenant is not satisfied with the landlord’s response, or they fail to respond in time, the tenant can appeal to a First-tier Tribunal.

To coincide with the new regulations, the Department of Energy and Climate Change have published an explanatory booklet ‘Private Rented Sector Tenants’ Energy Efficiency Improvements Provisions’, that you can view here.

These latest energy efficiency regulations should act as a wake up call for landlords, before more fundamental changes are introduced in 2018.

From 1 April 2018 landlords will be unable to issue a new tenancy for a rented property with an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’, subject to certain exemptions. With two years to go, landlords are being advised to check their EPC ratings and explore options for addressing their most energy inefficiency properties, before the new restrictions come into force.