In a letter addressed to landlords, Oxford City Council say that from April 2016, private residential landlords will be unable to refuse a tenant’s reasonable request for consent to energy efficiency improvements, where a finance package is available. Such packages would include Green Deal or the Energy Company Obligation.
Furthermore, from 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a residential or business property that does not reach a minimum energy efficient standard.
The council’s letter says that large, ‘easy’ measures that would be considered reasonable to install include loft and cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, upgrading the boiler and heating controls, draught proofing and double glazing.
Additionally, Oxford City Council are asking landlords to contact them in February and March so they can take thermal images of the front of their property to identify any heat loss. However, the council say some tenants will be under heating homes as they can’t afford their energy bills and it is important that when a thermal image is taken, the property must be heated well. So to incentivise tenants to turn up the heating when the council turn up to take the thermal image, they are offering the tenant a £10 Sainsbury voucher.
Local authorities have powers under the Housing Act 2004 to inspect properties using the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and require improvements to properties where there are unacceptable risks to health and safety of the occupants. One such risk assessed under HHSRS is excess cold which can be caused by severe deficiencies in the thermal performance of a building.
If you would like advice on your property ring Bob Urwin at Martin & Co Oxford 01865 812110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org