There is growing concern over a predicted £5,000 cost that will be incurred to make some buy to let properties energy-efficient under new government plans.
An estimated 330,000 buy to lets - thought mostly to be Victorian and Edwardian properties - are likely to be affected.
Until recently landlords and investors could apply for Green Deal loans to improve energy efficiency - these loans were then repaid by tenants, who as a result of the works were paying lower bills.
However, the Residential Landlords Association is concerned that a new proposal from the newly-created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy wants landlords stump up the cash themselves for improvement such as insulation, cavity wall filling and new boilers.
As Letting Agent Today has reported in the past, the changes will be brought in from 2018, at which point landlord must raise the energy efficiency rating of their homes to at least Band E for new tenancies. The deadline is 2020 for existing ones.
Government estimates for the cost of these improvements range from £1,800 per unit to £5,000.
Now Richard Jones, RLA policy adviser, is warning that some landlords will have no choice but to pass on the costs of improvements to their tenants.
"Unless [government makes] 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. 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," he says.
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