I am a private tenant living in a property that is one of the most expensive to heat in the country. This means that it costs me hundreds of pounds more than the average UK bill payer to try and keep the cold out each winter.
From next April regulations will make it illegal for private landlords to rent out the worst properties in England and Wales (those in energy performance certificate (EPC) bands ‘G’ or ‘F’).
But a loophole means landlords can exempt themselves from improving their properties if they face a cost to do so. With the demise of government finance schemes such as Green Deal, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance the regulations now desperately need amending to ensure landlords have to take action.
Yet, self-certified online exemptions opened for landlords on 1st October.
As someone directly affected by this loophole I’m worried this will leave me in the cold for years to come. The total avoidable cost in energy bills to affected tenants over the five years exemptions are valid for could be as high as £1bn (£990 per household per year for band G, £510 for band F, according to government figures).
Over 70% of properties in question could be improved for no more than £1,000 - with an average cost of £1,412.
Please write to the minister in charge, Claire Perry, and make sure this cold homes loophole is closed by introducing a cost cap for landlords. No-one can be left behind in dangerously damp and cold houses.