The CLA has written to a top bureaucrat at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to demand changes to energy efficiency rules which are set to make one third of older rural homes illegal to let.
As things stand, new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) will make it illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating lower than E to a new tenant from April 1 2018. This will apply to all tenancies from April 1 2020.
But the CLA has blasted the Government for failing to provide any clarity about how these regulations will work in practice. As currently drafted, they are dependent on the Green Deal – a programme which was scrapped in 2015.
There is also some confusion about whether listed buildings or properties in conservation areas are affected.
Not good enough
CLA deputy president Tim Breitmeyer said: “The industry has repeatedly called on the Government to revise the regulations and its failure to make any progress in the two years since the Green Deal was scrapped is not good enough. With less than a year to go and the further delay of the general election, time looks to be running out.”
To make matters worse, a huge blunder has left around 100,000 older rural homes with incorrect EPC ratings which fall foul of the new rules, and Ministers did not confirm ahead of the election whether these mistakes will be rectified before the 2018 deadline.
Mr Breitmeyer added: “We support the principles behind the MEES regulations, but there are so many errors, delays and uncertainties it is almost impossible to advise anyone on how to be proactive and ensure compliance. This has a negative impact on landlords, tenants and the Government’s own policy objectives.
“It is unjustifiable to ask landlords to act on the regulations when so much remains unclear.”