Calderdale Council is taking action to clamp down on poor energy efficiency standards in rented properties in the borough, to help lower rates of fuel poverty and improve living conditions.
Around 16,000 households in Calderdale are privately rented. It’s important that these homes meet Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations, which state that privately rented properties should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
It’s estimated that approximately 2,300 rented homes in the borough do not meet MEES regulations and the Council is taking action to ensure landlords make the necessary improvements to bring them up to standard.
Poor energy efficiency in a person’s home can lead to lower indoor temperatures in the winter months, and in some cases can result in issues such as mould or mildew. Exposure to these conditions has been associated with a number of health conditions, also exacerbating existing problems and impacting on mental health.
The Council will work with landlords and agents to ensure that properties meet required standards and will be investigating properties that do not. Failure to comply with the necessary improvements may lead to a maximum penalty of £5,000 issued to the landlord.
As part of the work, a dedicated officer has been recruited who will work with landlords to help them access available support to make necessary improvements. They will also be able to provide advice and guidance to the sector about topics like tenancies, gas and electrical safety and energy efficiency standards.
Residents living in rented properties which they believe don’t meet a minimum EPC rating of E or above, are encouraged to get in touch with the Council by emailing MEES@calderdale.gov.uk or anonymously via the Council’s website at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/housing/private-landlords-and-tenants/mees-regs
The Council has already been in touch with lettings agencies to inform them about this work and is identifying ways to best contact other private landlords around the borough. Landlords are also encouraged to get in touch directly to find out about the support available.
Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said:
“It’s estimated that over 2000 privately rented properties in Calderdale don’t meet national energy efficiency standards. We want to do all we can to change this and support residents facing increased energy bills from trying to heat inefficient homes.
“Improving energy efficiency not only brings financial benefits, but improvements can also be made to the quality of life of our residents, whose physical and mental health can be severely impacted when living in a cold home. Landlords can also benefit from lower ongoing maintenance costs, higher tenant satisfaction and a more desirable property that has an increased market value.
“We do understand that landlords may also be struggling due to higher costs of living and unable to carry out essential repairs needed to tackle poor energy efficiency in the properties they own. However, we urge both landlords and residents to get in touch to find out more about the support available to carry out the necessary and important improvements.”
The Council and its partners offer a number of schemes to help support home improvements and make homes warmer and cheaper to heat. Visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/housing/energy-efficiency for more information.
For further help and advice on energy efficiency, the Council’s dedicated Housing Energy Action Team (HEAT) can be contacted on HEAT@calderdale.gov.uk