Improving the fuel efficiency of private rented housing can help alleviate fuel poverty and lead to a cleaner environment.
That’s the message from Hastings Borough Councillor Andy Batsford, Lead Councillor for Housing as HBC plans to host an event called Better Homes for Hastings that will bring together private landlords, housing associations, tenants and businesses, including TrustMark Registered Businesses, in the Hastings area. The aim is to promote the minimum standards of safety, comfort, health and energy efficiency that rented properties should ideally be meeting.
TrustMark is the Government endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, and is behind a pilot project in partnership with East Sussex Trading Standards, to improve the quality and energy efficiency in rented accommodation within Hastings.
The Better Homes for Hastings initiative will kick off with an event hosted in partnership with HBC on Friday (March 15th). The event will educate tenants about their rights and encourage the comfort and health factors in rented accommodation and will also address the issue of fuel poverty through the improvement of energy efficiency measures, which is a key concern in the town.
Private landlords, housing associations and letting agents will also have the opportunity to learn about the incoming regulations relating to energy efficiency standards in rental properties, as well as connect them with reputable businesses and tradespeople to help ensure their properties meet these requirements.
Simon Ayers, Chief Executive Officer of TrustMark, says: “We are really excited to be working in collaboration with East Sussex Trading Standards and HBC on this project and to have the opportunity to educate both landlords and tenants on the importance of improving the quality of rented homes.
“Tenants and landlords need to be confident that the tradespeople they employ to carry out any work on their properties meet the required industry standards – by using a TrustMark registered business they can be sure that the tradespeople have been vetted to ensure levels of technical competency, customer service and trading practices and are in accordance with Government endorsed quality. Together, we will work to drive up standards and enhance the safety, comfort, health and energy efficiency of Hastings rental properties.”
Mr Batsford said: “Housing is the third highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. This event will bring together landlords and those involved in the improvement of residential energy efficiency to encourage the improvement of standards in the private rented sector, which not only benefits tenants, many of whom may be living in fuel poverty, but also the UK’s wider greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
The Better Homes for Hastings event is taking place on Friday at Sussex Coast College Hastings between noon and 7pm and is free to attend.
The Hastings pilot is part of a series of events designed to help the Government meet ambitious targets around reduced carbon emissions and fuel poverty.