CSE supports campaign to close cold homes loophole

18 October 2017

With colder weather on the way, the campaign to close the loophole that allows private rented sector landlords to duck their obligations to make their homes warmer is very timely.

The campaign which launched on 2 October is being spearheaded by climate change charity 10:10.

Government regulations require landlords of poorly insulated properties to upgrade them in order to make life more comfortable for their tenants and to cut carbon emissions. Homes rated in energy bands F and G (e.g. the coldest) must be brought up to band E.

However, an exemption exists allowing landlords to not undertake this work if it will cost them money - which is almost certainly will since government energy efficiency schemes that they could have applied to have mostly closed or been significantly scaled down.

"It's time the government started worrying less about property owners and more about society's most vulnerable people," said CSE's chief executive, Simon Roberts.

"We're talking about 300,000 homes, here - that's at least 600,000 people. Between them, they'll spend an additional and unnecessary £1bn over the next 5 years unless the buildings they live in are brought up to band E.

"And it's not just the money. Living in a cold home is bad for your physical and mental health, it damages children's educational development and it's downright miserable."

"If the exemption is there, landlords will apply for it. The government can talk all they want about 'sending signals' but as long as this loophole is open, the hardest to heat homes in the UK will be left uninsulated and the lives of the most vulnerable will continue to be blighted.

"This is why we support 10:10's campaign."

CSE has several projects currently underway designed particularly to support tenants living in private rented accommodation, including WHAM which launched officially last week.

Ian Preston heads up CSE’s home energy services team. “Many of the calls we take are from people in private rented accommodation. For those in poorly insulated properties, the only hope of a warm home is for their landlord to insulate the loft or walls. They simply cannot afford to spend more on heating.

“While there’s a lot of talk about capping energy bills, the government really should make sure that private landlords can’t get away with renting out properties their tenants can’t afford to heat. You can’t sell a car without an MOT, so why should you be able to rent out a home that is hazardous to health?”

Read more about 10:10's campaign, and add your support, here

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