Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) may be exempt from the new energy standards that most private rental properties must meet by 2018.
The Government has already brought the regulations to parliament, which landlords must adhere to. The energy efficiency of rental accommodation currently rated F or G must be upgraded to a minimum of E by 1st April 2018. If they fail, landlords will be unable to rent them out.
HMOs Exempt from EPC Upgrade
The Government believes that around 10% of the 4.2m private rental homes in England and Wales are currently rated below E.1
Tenants will be able to demand improvements to their rental homes, if they live in F or G rated properties, from April 1st 2016. For example, they could request more insulation. Between this point and the 2018 date, landlords must move their properties up to at least an E rating.
It now seems that landlords with HMOs may not be obliged to improve the energy efficiency of these properties, which has disappointed campaigners, trying to improve the sector.
Labour MP Alan Whitehead, says: “The failure to bring HMOs within the scope of this legislation will leave a substantial amount of the private rented sector unprotected against leaky, cold properties. I’ve recently been trying to amend the primary legislation to cover HMOs with a Private Members’ Bill, but it’s a problem that will need urgently addressing by the next Government.”1
An energy supplier, Spark Utility, has estimate that about 380,000 non-HMO rental properties are currently rated F or G, and it could cost an average of £9,000 to improve the efficiency to an E rating.1