Broadland and South Norfolk Councils awarded £70k to improve tenants’ living conditions

Row of houses

Broadland and South Norfolk Councils have successfully bid for a £72,000 grant that will help them jointly ensure privately rented accommodation across both districts is more energy-efficient.

This financial support, made available through the BEIS Private Rental Sector MEES Compliance and Enforcement Competition delivered by the Midlands Energy Hub, will support the councils in enforcing the minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC E and help to drive upgrades for the worst performing privately rented homes.

The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) E standard was set by the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations and local authorities are responsible for this enforcement in the domestic sector.

The funding awarded will enable the recruitment of two staff members who will set up an effective MEES Compliance process that will identify non-compliant properties and proactively contact landlords. This will include directing them towards grants that are currently available through the councils’ Warm Homes Fund and Local Authority Delivery Scheme, as well as outlining the implications of non-compliance, such as fines.

Cllr Judy Leggett, Broadland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Excellence, said:

“It can be difficult to identify which homes in more isolated, rural areas are not EPC-compliant, and tenants in these locations can also face challenges accessing services due to a lack of transport links or internet connectivity. This funding will enable us to proactively locate these properties and work with landlords to ensure compliance. ”

The council officers recruited thanks to this funding will share their knowledge within Broadland District and South Norfolk Council’s Housing Standards Team, as well as energy partners, to ensure that the lessons learnt are embedded in future processes and enforcement actions. This will benefit existing and future private rented sector tenants across Broadland and South Norfolk. 

The funding will also support both councils in using existing property information to raise awareness of MEES Regulations through targeting advertising of landlords and letting agents. 

Monitoring and enforcement systems will remain in place after funding ceases in March 2022. 

Published: 29 October 2021