Darlington Council is set to fine private landlords whose properties do not meet green energy standards.
The Council’s cabinet will meet next week to decide whether to issue civic penalties against landlords who refuse to improve their properties to meet the minimum national energy efficiency standards.
The new powers will be designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties, rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
More than 250 private rented properties in Darlington have been identified as having an EPC rating of F or G, and their landlords could be fined by to £5,000 if they fail to improve the properties.
Jonathan Dulston, deputy council leader and cabinet member for stronger communities, said: ‘We know that the vast majority of private landlords stick to the rules and provide good accommodation, but we are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who do not care about their tenants or the standard of their properties.
‘These new powers will improve the energy efficiency standards of private rented homes which will in turn improve residents’ health, ensuring people do not live in homes that are cold and damp. It will also help reduce fuel bills and alleviate fuel poverty and will contribute to the council’s housing and climate change strategies.
‘The message is clear – private landlords need to do the right thing and make sure their properties meet the minimum standards at the very least.’
If cabinet agrees to use the new powers, the Council will advise the offending landlords that they are committing an offence, and they will be told about energy efficient grants which could help improve their properties and given 14 days to show that work has been done or is planned.
If action is not taken, the Council will investigate and a penalty notice could be issued.
In related news, in order to address the city’s housing need and increase the availability of high-quality homes, Coventry Council is taking measures to bring empty houses back into use.
Photo by Greg Rosenke