Landlords who own properties that fall in the F or G energy efficiency ratings could be made to make upgrades before they can rent them out, under government proposals, according to a report on the dailymail.co.uk site.

Ministers are currently looking at a change that would require owners of properties that are in the lowest energy efficiency categories to make improvements to a minimum standard from 2018, except where certain exemptions are applicable.

Additionally, from April 2016 tenants would be given the right to ask for energy efficiency measures to be carried out. Only in ‘unreasonable’ circumstances could a landlord be able to refuse such a request.

In the article the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that 65 per cent of F and G EPC rated rented accommodation in the private sector were built prior to 1919.   However many rented properties that are currently F or G rated could be improved by a single change.  The example given shows 40 per cent could be upgraded above the lowest rating just by fitting loft insulation.

Compared to owner occupied properties the private rented sector has a higher proportion of homes that fall into these lowest categories.

A spokesman from the DECC was reported as saying: “Properties with the lowest energy efficiency rating tend to be older properties that are electrically heated, off the gas grid, and lacking insulation”.  In 2011 in England, 34 per cent of rented properties that had a cavity wall had not had insulation installed which compared to 30 per cent of owner occupier sector. In the same year approximately 782,000 privately rented households were categorised as being in fuel poverty.

According to the article, in the consultation paper the government said: “Improving the energy efficiency of needlessly cold and draughty homes in the private rented sector will enhance the quality of living and cut the energy bills for the millions of people who rent their homes” and that “A range of cost effective measures now available can stop energy waste and make homes warmer, healthier and help control energy bills too.”

From a landlord’s point of view, making some simply but effective changes to the energy efficiency of their rented property could help make it more attractive especially to those tenants who are looking to potentially save money on their utilities bills.

So if you are thinking of making some improvements be aware of this possible change and consider including energy efficiency measures now.   Don’t forget you should advise your landlord property insurance provider of any renovations to your property as this may affect the cover.  Why not check out Click4quote.com’s landlord property insurance and get a quote online today.