Councils in London must foster a co-operative relationship with private landlords to ensure they make necessary energy efficiency improvements to their homes, a report out today says.
Ten per cent more privately rented properties in the captial fall under the decent homes standard than both owner-occupied and social-rented tenures, policy network Future of London states.
In its report, Future of London says “current programmes, regulations and incentives are not enough to enable the ‘deep’ retrofit required for London’s aging rental properties”.
As well as suggesting councils target funding opportunities for landlords and introducing regulation to drive up standards, the report says they should “aim to facilitate the long-term improvement of this growing sector by fostering cooperation between boroughs and their landlords.”
Future of London head of policy, Jo Wilson, said, “Persuading to invest time, energy and money in their rental properties is vital to improving standards and boroughs have a clear role to play, as regulatory authorities, users of private-rented housing for temporary accommodation, and in their efforts to house the growing ‘generation rent’ cohort who cannot afford to buy.’
Future of London says councils are under ‘huge pressure to protect the increasing number of vulnerable households in the PRS by improving standards while retaining a reasonable quantum of private housing stock to meet overall housing need.’
‘Maintaining this balance without clear data on landlords or their properties is extremely challenging,’.
The policy network highlighted two energy efficiency deadlines in the Energy Act 2011 that should signal the way for improving standards in the sector:
By 1st April 2016, landlords cannot unreasonably refuse energy efficiency improvements requested by the tenant
By 1st April 2018, ensuring that the landlord of a domestic property may not let the property until it meets set energy efficiency standards, included on an Energy Performance Certificate