Should it be up to you to insulate your rented property?
As everybody is aware, improper insulation of your home can lead to lower energy efficiency, along with spiking costs for the person residing in the actual home. For those who own their own home, investing in better insulation is surely a worthy investment for the future. For somebody renting their property however, the home they are currently in may not be their home forever. For some, their time in the property may only be a case of a single-year contract agreement, so does it really seem fair that it falls to the responsibility of the tenant, and not the landlord, for footing the extra bills of poorly insulated rented homes?
Good news, sort of.
From April of next year, landlords will no longer be allowed to rent out poorly insulated homes, in an effort to support tenants in more vulnerable positions. This sounds great, and must have been a fairly simple concept for politicians to score some points with the public, and yet there is a flaw to the motion – landlords have been able to apply for an exemption from government. This exemption may lead to thousands of the 300,000 homes affected not being upgraded, and has been reported to be potentially costing tenants £1bn over the next five years. The deadline for the applications was 1 October, although there is no reason that each landlord of the 300,000 homes could not have a successful exemption, leading the real question to be why these applications were made available in the first place?
A bit more personal
It is understandable, in a sense, for somebody in business wishing to save themselves money. It’s the entire basis of being economical surely? This is fair to say as a broad comment, but when the business in question involves people, such as rental properties, there should also be an ethical weight to each cost-reducing initiative. Not to jump to extremes, but the Grenfell Tower incident earlier this year is a poignant example of how cost-reduction can be a road to dark consequences. It is not simply a case of keeping business costs down, there should be a more moral basis for landlords. They are not just renting a property, they are housing people, and in the case of these 300,000 homes, more often than not the tenants footing the bill are those who can least afford to do so. Taking away a moral compass, it’s not fair for any tenant!
A start at least
Yes, the applications for exemption are definitely subject to controversy, but what is also there now the deadline has passed is solid legislation preventing any landlords from doing this in the future. This is a dirty mark in the beginning of what is a positive initiative for not only low income tenants, but tenants across the country. It seems ridiculous that landlords have been able to do this up until this point, but let’s appreciate this for the victory that it is for rented properties nationwide!
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