23 Sep 2022

Storm over new law forcing landlords to pass on £400 energy discount

Landlords will be forced by law to pass on the £400 energy rebate to tenants with all-inclusive bills, the government says.

Activist groups and some charities had raised concerns that tenants whose bills are included in their rent could miss out because the rebate is paid to their landlord

The government estimates around one per cent of households will not receive the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount directly, and this includes those ‘bills included’ tenants. 

A government statement says: “Additional funding will be made available so that £400 payments will be extended to include people such as park home residents and those tenants whose landlords pay for their energy via a commercial contract. The government is committed to ensuring such households receive the same support for their energy bills. The government will introduce legislation to make sure landlords pass the EBSS discount on to tenants who pay all-inclusive bills.”

However the National Residential Landlords Association says this demonises landlords. 

Chris Norris, the association’s policy director, says:  “Given payments under the support scheme have not begun to be made, the government’s plans to legislate are premature and are demonising landlords unnecessarily. It sends a dangerous and misleading message that landlords cannot be trusted to do the right thing, creating needless fear and anxiety for tenants.

“The reality is that one-off pots of money like this cannot compensate for the fact that the benefits system is systematically failing to protect the most vulnerable tenants. At a time when households finances are being squeezed it makes no sense to have frozen housing benefit rates.”

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