The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched a consultation on the 19th December 2017 about modifying The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.
Current legislation, as confirmed in the recent 97 page guidance issued, requires that all energy improvements must be at no cost to the landlord. If improvements cannot be achieved at no cost to the landlord then the landlord can register the band F or G property on an exemptions register and for 5 years they are then OK to be letting the property. This will probably be the biggest single reason properties will be registered on the exemption register. However, it will also mean a lot of energy inefficient properties continue to be let and continue to be producing more carbon emissions than necessary. This consultation suggests that they may change the rules, possibly at some time during 2018, and require a landlord to spend an amount of money, up to a cap, in order to improve the energy efficiency. Only having spent this money would the property be allowed on the exemption register for further improvements not being available at no cost to the landlord.
This is quite a significant change and could certainly costs landlords with a significant portfolio in bands F or G, a lot of money. Original proposals had been to cap the spend at £5,000 but this has now been reduced to £2,500, though the amount of the cap is one of the points in the consultation.
Data from the 2014 English Housing Survey showed that here are an estimated 280,000 private rented properties in bands F or G. It should be remembers (and this is restated in the consultation) that the plan is to make all private rented properties a minimum of Band C by 2030.
The consultation can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/669198/PRS_Minimum_Standards_Consultation_2017.pdf.
Responses have to be in by 13 March 2018 with any changes not expected to be in force till April 2019.