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New Alliance wants laws which will protect tenants in a cold home

A coalition of 15 organisations have urged the Government to make it illegal for any landlord to rent out a poorly insulated home until they have been made more energy efficient.

Organisations that include Friends of the Earth, Citizens Advice and Age UK are very concerned about the increasing number of poorly maintained properties in the privately rented sector. They report that nearly 20% of private tenants are currently living in fuel poverty and are unable to heat their home properly. The groups say that a cold home could impact on health, putting the elderly at greater risk of catching diseases which are costing the NHS around £859m per year.

The organisations are asking the Government to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for landlords renting private properties. They also want the landlord to have advice and financial help in getting the homes up to a better standard, and for the tenant to get reliable information about the energy efficiency of the property before signing a contract. Most landlords are diligent in their search for cheap landlord insurance, applying the same effort in seeking out energy efficiency advice and passing it on to their tenants could prove to be just as rewarding.

Friends of the Earth’s climate campaigner, Dave Timms, said “It’s a disgrace that millions of vulnerable people live in poorly insulated and cold homes. The Government should introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes so they are better insulated and cheaper to heat – this would protect tenants from high fuel bills and ill health, create jobs, save the NHS money and cut carbon emissions.”

The Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, say that during the past six years utility bills have gone up by 125%,  and this has been devastating for the fuel poor.

Senior Liberal Democrat backbenchers such as Charles Kennedy and Andrew George have signed a Parliamentary motion for minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented homes. Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband is also in favour of a new regulation.