West Norfolk Council leaders back tougher home energy rules
Private landlords in West Norfolk could soon be fined if the homes they rent out are not eco-friendly enough.
A report approved by council chiefs this week would allow for landlords to be given fines worth thousands of pounds if their properties are not rated at least E on the government’s energy efficiency scale.
The scale, which is set out by central government, gives properties a rating based on how it uses energy, on an A to G scale, with A being most efficient and G being least.
Following government regulations which came into effect in April, West Norfolk Council's cabinet voted to adopt financial penalties for those which score F or G ratings on this scale at a meeting on Monday.
The proposal will go before the full council for final approval, but is almost certain to be passed.
The report said that, on average, energy costs in the lowest-rated homes are more than £600 dearer per year than rented properties rated E or above, and £1,000 more than the average home.
Fines of up to £5,000 could be issued if their properties are consistently found to be in breach of regulations.
But landlords will not be immediately fined, with the council allowing the problems to be addressed before giving out penalties.
The report said: “It is proposed that where a landlord is evidently in breach of the regulations and where it is their first offence, the penalty notice issued will not contain a financial penalty element, but will require the landlord to remedy the situation by either registering as a valid exemption or completing the relevant and appropriate works within a reasonable period.”
Following the notice, if the landlord is unsuccessful in registering as an exemption, or is not seen to be addressing the issue, the council will be able to issue financial penalties, as follows:
• Being in breach for less than three months – up to £2,000
• Being in breach for three months or longer – up to £4,000
• Providing false or misleading information – up to £1,000
• Failing to comply with a compliance notice – up to £2,000