The Telegraph has reported that huge numbers of landlords could be asked to pay a ‘green tax’ of up to £5,000 per property, in a move the RLA has described as a ‘stealth tax’.
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Extra Landlord Costs Whereas previous energy efficiency improvements were covered by the government’s Green Deal scheme, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has proposed that landlords and other home owners cover the cost of installing energy improvements, such as cavity wall insulation and more energy efficient central heating boilers. This means all such improvements will be borne by landlords as an up-front cost.
Victorian and Edwardian properties are most affected by this development because they are less energy efficient, but any older property could fall victim to the ‘green tax’.
“Unless they make funding available, landlords will be forced to pass these costs on to tenants in the form of higher rents. It could also make being a buy-to-let landlord prohibitive. They could struggle to find such a large amount of money upfront,” says Richard Jones from the Residential Landlords Association.
“Landlords have been harshly treated. This is an extra stealth tax on top of all the other measures that threaten the finances of the sector.”
Major Work Required in Older Properties All rental properties must be in Band E for energy efficiency as an absolute minimum. Unfortunately, many older properties need major work to raise them up to this level. Still, the government doesn’t see this as a problem and they believe the impact on rents will be “minimal”.