New View Residential - letting agents in Cambridge

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Letting Industry – Green Deal Disappointment

Many within the letting industry have expressed disappointment at the government’s announcement this week that it is scrapping the Green Deal.

The Green Deal scheme offered incentives and cashback to owner-occupiers and landlords when they improved the energy efficiency of their properties. This included items such as wall and loft insulation, energy-efficient boilers, and other energy efficiency improvements recognised as appropriate during a Green Deal property survey.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change says the decision to scrap the Green Deal was taken to protect taxpayers, citing low take-up and concerns about industry standards.

However, David Cox of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) says the decision will mean that the deadlines outlined for private rented properties to acquire an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of an E may become impossible to meet.

Cox said: “The Green Deal allowed landlords to make their properties energy efficient at no upfront cost to themselves, and without the funding, how can these regulations be implemented? We are calling on the government to review these changes, as a matter of urgency.”

Victor Jameson of Cambridge Letting Agents New View Residential commented: “To be honest the loss of the Green Deal is no big thing. The uptake was appalling. We went to the landlord presentations held by Cambridge city Council when it was first launched. We were pretty excited to begin with, but this soon led to disappointment.

“The scheme was mired in red tape and completely inflexible. The staff often didn’t understand the scheme themselves and you had to constantly chase them up to get results through. We recommended the scheme to a number of our Cambridge landlords but none of them ever managed to get a project through to the installation stage.

“I think it’s really sad that this government has so little interest in green issues. From an energy efficiency perspective, much of the housing stock in this country is in pretty poor condition. Rather than producing overly complex systems, we need a simple incentive to landlords and homeowners. This could be a tax reduction incentive or a good old-fashioned grant. I seem to remember that these worked pretty well.”

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