If your boiler is broken or in disrepair, you’ll be keen to enlist the best boiler repairs Rotherham has to offer – however, we know that when you have a functioning boiler, just not a very energy efficient one, you’ll be less than desperate to have it replaced. For many buy-to-let landlords, this will soon become an even bigger problem, as the government is making energy efficiency homes their responsibility in a financial sense.
From April 2018, landlords must raise energy efficiency in homes to at least a Band E, meaning it will affect all those who own let properties with F and G energy ratings. This is believed to account for 330,000 homes in the UK which need major work.
Until recently, landlords could apply for loans through the Green Deal, which would see tenants pay back the cost through contributions made possible by lower energy bills, however, with the Conservative government scrapping the deals, these costs have now been passed directly to the landlord.
Richard Jones, policy adviser at the Residential Landlords Association, called these changes a ‘stealth tax’ on buy-to-let landlords, and suggests that it could make the industry less financially viable for people in the future. “Unless they make funding available, landlords will be forced to pass these costs on to tenants in the form of higher rents,” he said, according to The Telegraph.
In announcing the plans to landlords, the government suggested it should cost no more that £1,800 to meet standards for most landlords, however, with the likes of gas central heating installation alone estimated at around £4,000, it’s clear this won’t be the case for everyone.
For buy-to-let landlords, it may feel like a further case of persecution from the government, which has been accused of treating them particularly harshly in an attempt to level the playing field between those buying to let and those buying their own home.
With 3 per cent stamp duty already in place and a reduced level of tax relief on the way, detractors of these government schemes have suggested that buy-to-let landlords are being treated as a ‘cash cow’.
However, the government has hit back with data suggesting 60 per cent of all private rented properties are owned outright, suggesting this means these homeowners have significant income reserves.
With the New Statesmen suggesting that 21 per cent of lending in the first quarter of 2016 went to buy-to-let mortgages however, this could be on the move as less financially viable businessmen and women take a punt at becoming a landlord.
Whether or not buy-to-let landlords are deserving of this ‘green tax’ levied against them may depend on which side of the fence you sit, however, making homes more energy efficient is the ultimate worthwhile goal. Homes with band G and F energy ratings are not only bad for the environment by using more energy to less effect; they can also represent a significant difference in your monthly expenditure to such a level that your energy bills could become one of your largest financial outgoings.