Mansfield District Council is one of the first councils to make improvements to private rental housing that does not meet minimum energy efficiency standards after winning a £90,000 government grant.

It is one of 59 local authorities in England and Wales that have shared £4.3 million with funding from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to help them enforce the law.

The money has enabled Mansfield to hire two enforcers, along with administrative support, to tackle landlords with failing properties in a project that will run through the end of March 2022. It is to target 166 properties.

EPC Rules

Since April last year, private rental properties have been required to meet a minimum energy performance of EPC band E, making it illegal to rent properties below it unless landlords have a limited exemption.

The project will provide advice to landlords on attic insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing, but failure to act could result in a fine of up to £5,000 per property and per violation.

Councilor Marion Bradshaw, portfolio holder for safer communities, housing and welfare, says that while it has identified 166 homes, it suspects the true number is much higher.

“We would rather work with landlords to improve standards than wave a stick. However, enforcement is an option if landlords choose not to participate in the project,” said Bradshaw.

Midlands Energy Hub, a BEIS-funded agency working with local authorities to help realize the government’s Net Zero strategy, is supporting the Mansfield Council’s project.

Michael Gallagher, head of the hub, says: “By improving the quality of the housing stock, the entire project appears to target more than 95,000 of the worst-performing private rental properties with the ultimate aim of tackling fuel poverty and reducing the carbon emissions generated by the housing sector.”

The municipalities of Nottingham, Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and Exeter belong to the also received financing.