Energy efficiency in private rented housing

Improving energy efficiency in Oxford’s private rented housing

Tenants in private rented properties

If your rented property is cold, draughty and hard to heat, you should first contact your landlord. You have the right to request certain basic energy efficiency measures, and consent should not be unreasonably refused.

However, if this is unsuccessful, please contact the HMO Enforcement Team (for shared houses), or the Private Sector Safety Team (single family homes).

Energy saving advice leaflet for private tenants

Single family rented properties

We are currently targeting private rented properties that are rated F and G in their EPCs for assessment under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), as they are at high risk of being a ‘Category 1' hazard for excess cold. Where hazards are identified, landlords are required to make improvements to ensure any risks to tenants’ health are reduced.

Please note, landlords cannot assume that satisfying the Council’s requirements under the Housing Act 2004 will automatically mean they have met their Energy Act responsibilities. A new EPC still need to be commissioned that meets the E+ standard.

HMO properties

Where an EPC is required for an HMO then EPCs are required as a condition of all licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Where these EPCs are F or G rated, a condition is added to provide a new EPC to be submitted to us to demonstrate compliance. This is to ensure the HMO is being managed in line with legal requirements and  to protect tenants from the hazards associated with cold, hard to heat homes.

For those landlords eligible for a five year HMO licence, a D rating on the property’s EPC is a pre-requisite for a longer licence. This should be further improved over the lifetime of the licence if possible.

However, some HMOs aren’t required to have EPCs – primarily those that haven’t been sold or let as a single rental in the previous 10 years. 

Oxford City Council Landlord Accreditation Scheme

Properties owned by accredited landlords should have achieved the highest EPC ratings possible, within reason, for the property construction type.

As a minimum the council would expect properties managed by accredited landlords would be "D" rated.

Landlords and agents with properties rated E-G will need to evidence that continued energy improvement works to their managed properties have been carried out and that improvements are ongoing to those properties that fall below this standard.

Visit the landlord accreditation page for further information.

Energy efficiency advice and grants

For further information on energy efficiency grants available for private landlords, please visit our Energy saving grants and offers pages.

The Better Housing Better Health Helpline 0800 107 0044 can advise on reducing energy bills and what grants and financial assistance may be available to you.

The Energy Saving Trust has lots of helpful energy saving advice and tips.

You can also find specific advice for your property by visiting the Simple Energy Advice website and entering in your property details. This website will also show how property improvements could positively impact the EPC rating of a property.