Landlords across Shropshire are being warned to ensure their properties are energy efficient – before it becomes illegal to rent them out.
From this month tenants have the right to request efficiency improvements, but the work must be completed before government regulations come into force in April 2018.
Claus Best, of Smart Energy Services, based in Bayston Hill, predicts that around 15,000 properties in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin need work to bring them up to a decent standard.
Mr Best, a specialist in improving the energy efficiency of homes and making them comfortable to live in, said: “As of April 1st 2018 it will be illegal to let a property which has an energy efficiency rating – an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – of F or G.
“Landlords do not seem to be moving quickly enough on this issue.
“It is now just two years before the law changes but as of April this year tenants also have the right to request these improvements.
“With so much work required to bring low rated homes up to standard people need to think about this and act now to ensure they can still rent out the properties legally after the deadline.”
The new regulations were announced by the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey last year.
The move, which aims to cut energy bills and carbon emissions, is expected to help around a million tenants across the UK paying as much as £1,000 a year more than the average annual bill of £1,265 because of poorly insulated homes.
Almost 10per cent of England and Wales’ 4.2million privately rented homes currently fall below the E rating.
But Mr Best is concerned about the slow progress in our county.
He estimates that of around 45,000 homes in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin which are rented privately around a third of these are in a band F or G, most having been built before 1960.
“Most of the properties I see from that era will benefit from improved wall and roof insulation, increased damp proofing, double or triple glazing, a more efficient boiler and additional draught proofing,” Mr Best added.
“It doesn’t need to cost a lot but it needs to be done – landlords could make further improvements like installing solar panels, updating the heating system and ensuring the home is airtight, this would make homes more affordable to heat as well as keeping their business legal and increasing its value.”
Mr Best has worked across the UK and abroad and is qualified in coordinating retrofit work, improving efficiency of already existing homes.
He can offer a combination of advice and installation for a project which will start with an energy report and advising on the improvements which could be made.