New initiative for Landlord Rented Energy Efficient Homes
South Hams District Council has outlined how a package of support for landlords with long-term lets will make properties warmer and cheaper for local tenants.
The health and wellbeing of residents in rented accommodation is being addressed within South Hams' homes with the launch of an initiative to help longer-term let landlords meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
The support package on offer from the District Council includes grants to help landlords improve the energy efficiency of their property. This includes ways to improve the energy efficiency of homes such as, roof and wall insulation, replacement heating systems or draught proofing.
The Council is working in partnership with Tamar Energy Community to help landlords 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.
The Government expect that all domestic properties should be aiming to achieve at least a C rating by 2030 to reach climate targets. Landlords should also expect that minimum energy efficiency standards will become higher than the current minimum standard.
To further support landlords, the Council runs an ethical lettings service called SeaMoor Lettings. SeaMoor Lettings offers lower charges to landlords than standard lettings agents with the aim to offer lower, more affordable rental costs to local families.
Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Our goal is to support landlords to provide their tenants with a safe, warm and quality home to live in.
"The funding we've managed to secure from the Government will help us to fund local landlords in meeting these standards. As costs rise, tenants obviously, and rightly, want to live in houses that are comfortable and efficient to run.
"If landlords need help with money to improve the heating efficiency or the insulation for instance, then we want them to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We hope by helping them to fund these improvements might tempt more landlords back to offer much needed longer-term rentals to the market.
"We have identified 1,000 properties in South Hams so far, which may not be meeting the standard. Together with Tamar Energy Community, we'll be talking to landlords about the standards and what we can do to help them to improve.
"If you're a landlord with a long-term rental in the South Hams, or are thinking of becoming one, please do get in touch with us. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain."
The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties. Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
If a landlord is currently letting a property or planning on letting with an EPC rating of F or G, and has not already taken action, they must improve the property's rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.
Kate Royston, Tamar Energy Community's Director and Energy Advisor, said: "We welcome the partnership with South Hams District Council. The opportunity to work with landlords and their tenants in this way, and support the measures needed to deliver warmer, healthier, more energy efficient homes, will benefit landlords, tenants, and the planet!"
Go to the Council's website for more information: www.southhams.gov.uk/RentalHousingStandards
Published 9 May 2022