Heating : New Information to Be Provided for Landlords
Last July, with a view to reducing the energy usage of housing, in particular collective housing, the legislature adopted a new knowledge requirement which entered into force on 25 October 2020. The stated goal is to enhance rental reports and encourage further action to decrease energy bills by empowering users. Let us clarify precisely what this new norm consists of and what influence it would have on landlords.
What obligation ?
The current Article 6-2 of the Legislation of 6 July 1989 obliges the landlord, by transposing the European Directive and by a decree of 15 July 2020, to notify the occupant of the actual intake of hot, cold and heated water from the rented accommodation.
Specifically, if the building is fitted with a central heating system, the landlord must give the occupant a calculation of the heating and water charges or whether the building is already equipped with the correct systems, a precise declaration. Depending about the kind of technologies in use inside the condominiums, this would not go without asking some concerns.
However the duty does not stop there and in order to enforce the provisions of the decree supplementing the law of 24 July 2020, the material submitted to the tenant must include (quote from the text):
• Unit price per kWh and quantity excluding sales tax;
• Overview of separate applicable tariffs, taxes and charges;
• The oils and related greenhouse gas emissions used;
• The rate of recovery and renewable energy, measured in accordance with the methods specified in the appendix to this order;
• Network energy efficiency, measured in accordance with the methods in the appendix;
• The total building consumption as determined by the heating or cooling energy metering system;
• Comparison of the actual heating or cooling usage data of the building with its consumption during the same period in the previous year in graphical form, in data adjusted for hot and cold temperature variations;
• Comparison of data on heat or cold use with an average consumer of the same category;
• Comparison of data on heat or cold use with national energy output goals as set out in the multi-annual energy programme;
• The contact information of the complaint management department;
• Website address and telephone number of the FAIRE information service for renovation;
• The url of the Climate and Energy Conservation Agency’s website;
The postal address and the website address of the national energy mediator shall be accompanied by the following information: In the event of a dispute relating to the implementation of the contract, you may appeal to the national energy mediator if your written complaint to the name of the supplier has failed to resolve the dispute within two months.
Landlords have every interest in taking the initiative on the part of renters to defend themselves against potential default actions. The condominium societies are likely to take over in lieu of the owner’s customers by planning the details notice.
The necessary transformation of meters
Some of the condos fitted with communal heating have individual hot water discounters, as well as heating distributors to signify the share of traditional central heating consumed by the accommodation. But this is not the case anywhere and the application of the measure would be delayed by their installation.
If the legislation states that buildings are referred to as “equipped with devices for individualising remote-readable costs” they are not placed anywhere. The Implementing Declaration specifies that all new built points must be remotely removable on October 25, 2020. It is important to upgrade the old metering systems by January 1, 2027.
The extra conversion costs are expensive and therefore higher than the energy savings gained – at least in the short term – by regulating consumption. It should be added that the installation of the required equipment in certain condominiums is simply not technically feasible (particularly in the case of thermal slabs) or may entail a rethink of the whole installation.
Therefore, the law will continue that the heating note is counted by the scheme of directors’ fees appearing in the condominium regulations. What is also presented by the general text of the aforementioned law when speaking of figures to be given in the sense of co-ownership: from these words, we deduce that they would be centred on the division of the note by the area occupied by the joint ownership. However, a rationale would need to be presented.
The opposable DPE
Furthermore, the Housing, Construction and Wireless Development Act of 23 November 2018 provides that the diagnosis of energy efficiency is objected to the owner. Clearly, for example a high heating bill in a home categorised as energy efficient will make a bid for a rent reduction.
The owner is then found to have given false details and this error must be resolved. If you are not aware of the details already given, do not panic; this measure will not enter into effect until 1 July 2021. On October 25, the material that becomes obligatory will shield the occupant from unwanted surprises, but also the landlord, whose declarations will show good faith.
If it seems appropriate, the measure will produce a certain amount of purchases in old condominiums, where they will not all be welcome. We should bet that this is development, considering all, leading to more accountability for electricity, at a time when energy consumption is a big problem for the future. One thing is certain this conversation would animate the next meetings of co-owners!