Help to make borough homes warmer
West Devon Borough Council has unveiled a package of support for landlords with long-term lets to make properties warmer and cheaper for local tenants.
The council is to help longer-term let landlords by offering grants to improve the energy efficiency of their property so they meet a minimum EPC rating of E, as now required by government legislation. This could include draught proofing, roof and wall insulation or replacement heating systems.
The council in partnership with Tamar Energy Community will work with landlords to meet these standards and will be investigating properties that do not. Over the coming weeks they will be contacting households and landlords who live in or rent these properties.
If the necessary improvements are not carried out or there is not a valid exemption, it may lead to landlords being issued with a penalty. If landlords are concerned about the energy rating in their property, there are options available to help them achieve the best energy ratings possible.
Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: ‘The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards outline what landlords need to do to ensure their tenants have a quality home. We’ve now secured government funding to help us to help landlords to meet these standards and improve their properties for the benefit of their tenants.
‘Whether landlords need a loan or a grant to improve anything from insulation to more energy efficient heating, it’s the tenants who will benefit from a more comfortable home that is cheaper to keep warm. We hope that this attractive package may also help to encourage landlords to offer much needed longer-term rentals following last summer where we have seen some landlords switch to short-term lets.
‘We’ll be working closely with Tamar Energy Community and getting in touch with landlords to let them know more about the standards and how we can help them to improve.
‘There are approximately 700 properties in our area that may not meet the minimum standards, and is it hoped that where possible, landlords will use this opportunity to bring their housing stock up to the higher standards, which the Government will be looking for in the near future.
‘Please let us know if you’re a landlord with a long-term rental, or you are planning on becoming a landlord in the near future.’
The council is recommending landlords to work towards higher energy efficiency in the longer term, as it is likely that domestic properties will need to achieve at least a C rating by 2030 to reach climate targets. Other support to help landlords also includes the ethical lettings service, SeaMoor Lettings. SeaMoor Lettings is run by the council and offers lower charges to landlords than standard lettings agents with the aim to offer lower, more affordable rental costs to local families. See www.westdevon.gov.uk/RentalHousingStandardsHebat
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