Renting a property
As a tenant, you have a right to live in a warm home. Whilst you should discuss all property matters with your landlord, there are laws that state the minimum energy efficiency standards a landlord must adhere to.
Landlords should provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate that should be at least E rated (unless they’ve registered an exemption).
During your tenancy, your landlord also has a legal responsibility to:
- Ensure there is adequate heating, fixed to the wall (i.e. standalone electric heaters are not sufficient)
- Organise an annual gas safety check, if there is gas in the property
- Organise electrical safety inspections at least every five years
- Ensure all smoke alarms are working properly
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with solid fuel burning appliances, such as a wood burning stove or a coal fire.
Some landlords charge a rent that includes bills, whereas others ask the tenant to set up their own accounts with suppliers. Once you’ve moved into a rented property, we may be able to help you reduce your energy bills. We can help some tenants access:
- Discounts and rebates on energy and water bills
- Help with fuel debt
- Smart meters
- Cheaper energy tariffs or suppliers*
- Accurate utility bills
- Advice on energy efficient appliances and light bulbs
- Draught-proofing measures
- Grants for insulation or heating upgrades
*This service may not be available for Winter 2022/23.
Some of the grants we apply for are available for landlords who are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their properties through loft and wall insulation, air source heat pumps or solar panels. For example, the Government’s sustainable warmth funding is available for rented properties that have poor energy efficiency and where the tenant is on a low income.
We encourage landlords to contact us to discuss their property and circumstances. With households across the country being responsible for producing high levels of carbon emissions, the scheme above has the potential to vastly reduce the impact property has on the environment.
For more specific housing advice, including free legal advice and making a complaint, Shelter and Citizens Advice are great resources. If you’re having trouble resolving an issue, you can also speak to your council’s private sector housing team.