Green Deal ready to go for landlords

Get ready for the Green Deal for landlords – the long-awaited incentive to improve the energy efficiency of rented homes at the cost of the tenant.

The concept may sound too good to be true – up to £10,000 of home improvements and someone else bearing the cost – but it is the way the Green Deal works.

At the heart of the scheme is a rule that says whoever pays the electricity bill pays for any improvements – and for buy to let landlords that will be the tenants, unless the property is void and the landlord takes over the payment.

The incentive starts on January 28, 2013, and here’s a list of typical improvements under the scheme:

  • Laying loft insulation
  • Installing solar panels for heating or hot water
  • Installing windows and doors
  • Fixing draught proofing
  • Putting in a new boiler
  • Insulating walls

Landlords and tenants can’t make the decision over what work is carried out – but both must agree the improvements can go ahead.

From 2016, landlords have to agree to reasonable Green Deal improvement requests from tenants, while from 2018,  landlords will be banned from letting any private rented home that fails to meet a minimum energy rating.

Then, a government approved assessor surveys the buy to let and draws up a list of energy saving improvements.

The key principle is the cost of the improvements must improve the home’s energy rating and cost less than the saving on utility bills.

If so, the work goes ahead and the cost is deducted over 10 years from the bill payments.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “The Green Deal will provide unprecedented choice for consumers wanting to improve their homes and make them more energy efficient.”

To find an approved assessor – these include tradesmen, DIY stores and energy companies – go to the independent Energy Saving Trust web site

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