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Landlord association calls for fair distribution of £400 Government energy grant

T

he National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has called for all forthcoming Government £400 Government support payments to be used to support tenants where their contract includes “the cost of utilities”

Addressing the eye watering 80% spike in the utilities energy cap to £3549 just this morning (Friday), Chris Norris policy director for the NRLA, said: “One off pots of money from the Government cannot disguise the need for fundamental reform of the benefits system to support vulnerable tenants and landlords alike.

“Where rents include the cost of utilities, if they have been set to reflect recent and likely future energy price rises landlords should be passing the savings from the Government’s scheme onto their tenants. The support payments should help whoever is shouldering the costs of increased energy bills. That could be either a tenant or the landlord.”

The comments fall among fears that some landlords may not be preparing to pass on the payment to renters in all-inclusive bills properties, and will attempt to hike rental payments to reflect the increase in gas and electricity prices passing on liability for energy rises to new tenants or those without a cast iron contract. 

The NRLA clarified that where all-inclusive rents do not reflect the higher cost of energy, or where rents have been frozen to support tenants, then it is the landlord who should shoulder the costs of higher energy bills.“

“In cases such as this the system should recognise that it is the landlord that needs the support,” said Norris.

“Where landlords might be considering switching to rents that exclude utility bills, this may provide greater clarity about who should receive support under the Government’s scheme.

“However, it is not without complication. For example, in shared housing, it would require energy meters to be installed in individual rooms.”

He insisted that landlords considering such a move “should speak with their tenants first to discuss options and what might work for both parties.”

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