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Landlords get the cold shoulder

The latest proposal coming out from the Coalitions Energy Bill is that from April 2018 the Government will make it unlawful for landlords to rent out a house or business with less than an E energy efficiency rating.

The Government estimates indicate that this could involve work to some 682,000 properties.

Chris Huhme the Energy Secretary asserts:
“For those landlords who don’t take up the Green Deal then we will get tough so that by 2018 the poorest performing rented housing stock is brought up to a decent standard.”

Personally I support a move to energy efficiency. In my mind any move towards us all using and wasting less gets’ my backing. This includes being fully behind any approach to improve the energy efficiency in the private rental sector.

However, it’s the tone coming from the Department of Energy and climate Change that annoys me. It smacks of political posturing and having a cheap sideswipe at landlords.
Anybody in any doubt of this just needs to read the DECC press release entitled:

Huhne gets tough on landlords of draughty homes

Is this the Liberal Democrats first attempt at reasserting their ‘Muscular Liberalism’ after being hammered in the polls? Could it be a attempt to Hoover up some of the green vote and at the same time have a stab at the old common enemy, ‘the landlord’ in the process.

Landlords are used to being the ‘scapegoat’. When house prices were rocketing it was all the fault of ‘greedy landlords’ pricing out first time buyers. Now rents are rising, we are accused of exploiting tenants over rental shortages. Nothing to do of course with the fact that too few houses are being built to cope with an immigration fuelled population explosion. All factors down to government policy not the actions of individual landlords.

Landlords to get it in the neck

Now landlords stand to get it in the neck if they don’t improve their properties. I’ve no problem with the principle of offering incentives to landlords to upgrade their properties. This is the plan under the Coalitions ‘Green Deal’.

My gripe is in the way it’s applied. Why are homeowners not forced to meet the same exacting standards as landlords owning private rented homes? What are the chances of these standards being applied to Council Houses and Housing Association Homes? It appears to be fine for homeowners to leak vast quantities of energy sapping heat from inefficient homes. If landlords choose to do the same then we should ‘get a good kicking’, apparently!

Wouldn’t it be a nice change for politicians to acknowledge the positives that the vast array of the UK’s private landlords bring to the economy. Namely, providing accommodation for almost 1 in 7 of us at no cost to the taxpayer rather than always feeling it necessary to have a thinly veiled dig.

Your comments as always would be welcomed on this
or any other topic

Agreed. I’ve just starting renting out an 1860’s property. It will take several thousands of pounds to upgrade the windows because I don’t want to use cheap
upvc frames. I’m hoping that most of that will come from the rental because I certainly don’t have any capital to spend on the place (it was inherited and the housing-market
is rock-bottom so I’m not selling). However I reckon come 2018 the world will be an entirely different place by then, so I’m not panicking too much; and neither should
anyone else. Governments are always vilifying landlords, anyone would think we are all rotten to the core, whereas the majority of us are just normal people trying to
get by in life.
As for the energy efficiency, I often feel that it’s a two-way street because the inhabitants of a house should learn to be more energy-conscious, rather than just banging up the thermostat and expecting the loft insulation, double glazing, cavity-wall fillings and wall-claddings to keep their bills down.


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