The National Landlords Association is keen to ensure a Government initiative that could give tenants the power to force landlords to make energy efficiency improvements does not place excess costs on the property owner.
Under the Green Deal, which is due to be introduced in Autumn 2012, tenants will have the power to ask landlords to make “reasonable energy efficiency improvements”, such as installing double glazing or cavity wall insulation.
Landlords will be able to apply for loans to carry out the improvements, with the costs repaid by whoever pays the energy bills.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change says landlords will face no upfront costs, as the tenant – or whoever pays the energy bills – repays the loan from the savings on energy bills.
NLA policy manager Chris Norris says the trade body wants to ensure the DECC defines what they mean by “reasonable” improvements.
He says: “If there is no upfront cost, we are happy because it is a win-win situation for both the tenant and the landlord.
“We are obviously cautious because we don’t know all of the details and we would want to work with the Government department to ensure the scheme did not expand to such an extent that landlords are hit with costs, particularly on hard to renovate properties.”
He adds: “We need to make sure that the definition of reasonable is something that is agreed upon by the entire industry.”
However, Norris said the NLA welcomed an initiative which encourages landlords to improve their properties and tackle climate change.