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Landlords who rent out properties built in the Victorian era and early part of the twentieth century may be forced to make upgrades to make them more energy efficient, under government proposals.

Ministers are consulting on a change that would mean owners of properties which fall under the lowest energy efficiency categories would be forced to make upgrades from 2018.

All eligible properties will have to be improved to a minimum energy efficiency standard before being let to tenants within four years, except where certain exemptions apply. The homes hit are those which have the lowest F or G rating in the Energy Performance Certificate efficiency scale.

Landlords with F or G EPC rated properties could need to improve energy efficiency by 2018.

In addition, by April 2016 tenants would be given the right to request consent to carry out energy efficiency measures, with landlords only able to refuse 'unreasonable'.

The older the property, the worse efficiency is likely to be. The Department for Energy and Climate Change says 65 per cent of F and G EPC rated private rentals were built pre-1919.

To ensure there are not upfront costs, landlords will not be obliged to make improvements unless there is a grant available under the Green Deal finance initiative, Energy Company Obligation or other government funding scheme.

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