Last year, we campaigned for tougher laws for tenants living in cold homes. We wanted the government to make sure landlords pay for energy efficiency improvements for the draughtiest homes to improve conditions and cut carbon emissions. After hundreds of you wrote to your MPs, the government has agreed.
The UK has some of the draughtiest housing in Europe. Each year we waste a massive £7.5bn on heat that simply escapes straight out of our windows, doors and floors. The situation is particularly bad in the private rental sector where some landlords are unwilling to invest in improvements, leaving renters in cold, unhealthy living conditions.
Landlords with properties rated F and G (that’s the worst energy efficiency ratings) are required by law to improve them. That’s important, because incredibly almost half of people living in these homes are in fuel poverty. But, the government had planned to let landlords opt out of making any improvements if it cost them any money upfront!
Hundreds of 1010ers joined a chorus of groups asking the government to protect vulnerable renters - helping us secure a meeting with the energy minister, Claire Perry. And she has listened.
Landlords will now be required to fund improvements to their properties up to a cost of £3500. This mean more vulnerable renters will be protected, and fewer landlords will be let off the hook. And of course, this is a perfect example of doing right by the climate making people’s lives better. The ultimate win-win.
We had campaigned for a £5000 cap, so this isn’t all that we wanted. This new cap still leaves thousands of tenants in the cold, and there’s still a long way to go on energy efficiency for the rest of our building stock. But it’s a good - and long overdue - first step.
If you were part of our campaign last year - thank you.