New Private Rental Sector Regulations and Older Buildings

The National Trust welcomes the announcement of the Private Rental Sector regulations and congratulates the government on the responsible approach it has taken to achieving energy efficiency in the large proportion of traditional buildings within this sector.

As Europe’s largest Conservation charity and a landlord that holds most of its property inalienably, the National Trust understands the need to make traditional solid wall buildings fit for contemporary purpose. We believe that these buildings can and should have a significant contribution to energy saving, tackling climate change and the provision of good standard, warm and comfortable homes.

What will the regulations require?

  • From April 2016, residential private landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request for energy efficiency improvements where Green Deal finance or subsidies are available to pay for them.
  • From April 2018, private domestic and non-domestic landlords will need to ensure that their properties reach at least an E EPC rating, or have installed those improvements that could be funded using available Green Deal finance or subsidies available to pay for them, before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants.

 These requirements will apply to all private rented properties – including occupied properties – from April 2020 in the domestic sector, and from April 2023 in the non-domestic sector.

What this means for the National Trust

Our Let Estate cares for 5000 privately rented homes, 75% of which will be subject to these regulations. These properties are maintained as part of ten year cycle that covers 500 properties a year. The retrofit of traditional buildings is complex and using the right measures and approach is essential for success. Have a look at this video of the work at West Wycombe to see the kind of projects that we under take. 

To prepare for these regulations we have carried out research on our buildings and evaluated the estimated install cost and SAP (Standard Assessment Process)/Fuel Bill/CO2 reductions for all applicable energy improvement measures. This research has demonstrated that traditional buildings can be brought up to minimum E standard easily and using measures that do not risk building fabric or occupant health. To this end we have developed new environmental standards that will be applied to all buildings within the let estate and will ensure that they are compliant to this regulation.

Working together to make all homes better

Whether designated or not, older buildings make an important contribution to our town and rural landscapes. They are central to local identity and a broader sense of place. The Trust has a responsibility to work with others to protect and sustain the wider heritage environment and we are looking forward to continuing to work with and supporting the government to make every home as good as it can be using appropriate and successful measures.

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