New Regulations on Energy Efficiency Improvements effective from 1 April 2016

March 2016

New law from 1 April 2016

From 1 April 2016, assured shorthold tenants (and some other residential tenants) in England and Wales have the right to request their landlord’s consent to make energy efficiency improvements to rented property.

The new law is set out in the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. Landlords must not unreasonably refuse consent to improvements where the tenant’s request complies with the Regulations.

Relevant energy efficiency improvements

The new rules apply where the tenant wishes to make a “relevant energy efficiency improvement”. Relevant energy efficiency improvements are (a) those that qualify for Green Deal funding (such as heating, insulation, showers, windows and doors) and (b) measures to connect the property to mains gas.

The improvements must be financed at no cost to the landlord. They may be financed through a Green Deal Finance Plan, provided free of charge by an energy company, financed by a grant from central or local government or another source or funded by the tenant (or a combination of these methods).

Procedure

The Regulations require the tenant to make a written Request for Consent and the Landlord to serve a Full Response, in some cases preceded by an Initial Response. The Landlord has the option of serving a Counter Proposal. If there is a superior landlord whose consent is required for the particular type of improvement, the Landlord must liaise with the superior landlord to seek their consent.

New Guidance Notes and Template Documents

Our new Guidance Notes and template letters take landlords and tenants through each step of the process, prompting them to include all the information required under the Regulations.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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