Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Bad news for landlords (and Paul Uppal), good news for me

In a move that will horrify the Landlords' Mouthpiece, Paul Uppal MP, the government's given way to lobbying and will pass a law requiring landlords to make their properties energy efficient or take them off the market.

Landlords will be forced to refurbish hundreds of thousands of the UK's most draughty and energy-inefficient homes or find themselves blocked from renting them out, under proposals unveiled on Tuesday.
The government has bowed to pressure from campaigners and brought forward an amendment to its energy bill, discussed by MPs yesterday, that would stop landlords from renting out homes that fell into the worst two bands of energy efficiency – F and G. The clause was missing from the original bill.
As a result, the estimated 680,000 rented homes falling into this category – about one-fifth of the total number of private rented residences – must be refurbished or taken off the market by 2018.
In addition, from 2016, private sector landlords will not be allowed to refuse "any reasonable request" to make energy efficiency improvements to their properties.

Brilliant. I live in a converted 1889 factory. It's got 25ft ceilings, useless secondary glazing and electric storage heaters so totally inefficient that I took them off the wall and replaced them with bookshelves. It's going to cost the landlord a large amount of money to install double-glazing, and will save me a fortune.

I hate renting a flat - I'd like a small cottage with a garden and a library, decorated the way I like it. But with a series of temporary jobs, no credit history and no deposit (thanks to doing loads of postgraduate work), ownership is a mirage.

But at least I'll be warm in 7 years' time.

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