Hundreds of thousands of buy to let homes face a rental ban within months unless their landlords spend to upgrade their energy efficiency.

Energy standards will start from April 2018 and any private rental home failing to meet the minimum risks a ban until remedial work is carried out. From April 2018, the ban applies to new tenancies,  renewals given to existing tenants or tenancies which go periodic on or after 1 April 2018. The ban applies to all tenancies from April 2020.

New research by insurance firm Axa shows landlords have worked to improve the energy rating of their homes, but 1 in 20 private rented homes – around 200,000 properties – are still too cold and damp.

The study revealed 43% of tenants claimed their homes were draughty and chilly and 25% felt they were paying too much for heating.

The worst homes rate F or G on energy performance certificates and face the ban –  and the research suggests the number of homes not meeting the minimum standard has dropped by 50% since 2015.

The ratings look at the cost and efficiency of insulation, heating, lighting and water heating.

“Landlords are making significant investments into improving the energy efficiency of their properties,” said Gareth Howell, Managing Director, AXA Direct.

“This is part of a bigger trend: when we look at our surveys of tenants and landlords over the past five years, we see progress across the board – on security, maintenance and numbers with proper tenancy agreements in place.

“Many landlords we speak to are accidentals, who typically own one or two properties. They are, by and large, professionalising and investing more seriously in the comfort of tenants and the future health of their rental properties. Pockets of failure exist in this market, but it is not the story for the 95% of landlords who are trying to do the right thing.”  

Landlords can check the energy rating of rental properties online.

Just input the property postcode to download a copy of the report.

You can find more details about energy performance certificates generally on our website here.