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MP in bid to make EPCs mandatory for bedsits

A Labour MP is due to table a Private Member’s Bill tomorrow, forcing landlords of bedsits to have to get Energy Performance Certificates.

The Government is facing pressure to close a loophole in the law that allows some landlords to avoid telling new tenants how energy efficient their property is if they rent out individual rooms.

Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, is targeting landlords who let out rooms in Houses of Multiple Occupation, including shared houses, bedsit accommodation or hostels.

All domestic buildings in the UK marketed for sale or let must have an EPC. However, while houses let to groups of sharers must have EPCs, those which are let out on individual contracts to tenants who have their own bedrooms but share a facility such as a kitchen or bathroom, do not need an EPC.

The Bill wants an EPC for the whole building to be made available in future to all such individual tenants.

Whitehead said: “Because HMO landlords renting out their rooms on an individual basis don’t at present have to provide EPCs, they avoid what was supposed to be a universal government requirement across the private rented sector – to give tenants the right to request reasonable energy efficiency improvements and to bring the energy efficiency of properties up to grade E by 2018.

“This Bill draws in HMOs under the scope of the 2011 Energy Act, which was always I believe the original intention of the Government but which hasn’t happened because of this loophole.

“It’s a simple way of getting tenants a fairer deal, and making sure the Government’s aspirations on improving energy efficiency in the private rented sector do move forward. I hope the Government gives the Bill a fair hearing.”

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