i News is reporting on a landlord who refuses to make improvements to the rental property. It won’t be long before the landlord gets an improvement notice from the local authority, with a potential fine.
The article can be seen here, and says:
Thousands of private tenants have watched their energy bills fly up while their landlords failed to make improvements, with many fearful of ‘revenge evictions’ if they speak up
Households seeking to cut their energy bills are frequently advised to insulate their walls, lofts and floors. Yet many private tenants have been left powerless in the face of rocketing bills because their landlords refuse to make such improvements.
Emma, a single mother who asked not to be identified by her real name, lives in South West England with two her two primary school-aged children, one of whom has additional needs.
‘My children are having one bath a week’
The Victorian terraced cottage she rents has leaking windows, a front door not fit for purpose and a loft so draughty it feels, Emma said, as though a window has been flung open.
The biggest problem, however, is the bathroom, which Emma believes was added on as an extension.
“That room is freezing,” she said. “My children are only having one or two baths a week because it’s so cold.”
On those days, Emma uses an electrical heater to try to warm up the room while running the bath. She is careful to turn it off before her children come in the room, but she knows it is a potentially dangerous decision.
“You’re not supposed to use [them] in bathrooms…[but] there’s no other way we can bathe and shower at either end of the day,” she said.
Fearful of ‘revenge evictions’
Emma – who has no direct contact with her landlord – has reported the issue to her letting agent “numerous” times along with concerns about her front door and draughty rooms in the property, which has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D.
he doesn’t want to make improvements to the property
“[The complaint] has been passed on the landlord but each time it comes back that he doesn’t want to make improvements to the property,” she said.
Thousands of private tenants across the UK are trapped in similar situations, watching their energy bills fly up while their landlords refuse to make improvements that would keep them warmer and reduce bills.
Many others feel unable to approach their landlords to request these improvements for fear of reprisals in the form of increased rents or being turfed out in a “revenge eviction” – a fear that is not unfounded, as research suggests.