Student landlords who accept quotes to upgrade their letting properties from a leading energy performance certificate firm could be paying up to £1,000 in referral fees.
The fees are included in the cost of works under the government’s new Green Deal Scheme starting next year.
The National EPC Company is encouraging estate agents and letting agents to earn commission from passing leads to the company’s One Green Deal division.
Referral fees reportedly range from £100 to £1,000, depending on the work carried out, according to trade news provider The Negotiator.
The idea is the referral fees are covered in grants received for carrying out the work - and the grant is repaid from reduced bills that energy saving improvements bring to the home.
Although the cash does not come out of a landlord’s pocket directly, the cost of the referral fees is increasing the cost of the loan and the amount the landlord has to repay for the works.
The Green Deal offers landlords and homeowners up to £10,000 to pay for energy related upgrades. The money is paid as a grant repaid over a number of years through savings on energy bills, providing the estimated savings directly related to the work come to more than the cost.
"The Green Deal will be the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War shifting our outdated draughty homes from the past into the future, so it’s vital people can trust it. I have heard too many cases of shoddy workmanship or dodgy technology from Government schemes in the past so from day one there will be strict rules about standards,” Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has said.
James Dodd, who will business development for One Green Deal told The Negotiator: “A lot of people are focussed on delivering solar panels because of the big margins, but that’s not our approach. We’ll look at the opportunities, which our guys have been trained to recognise.”
One Green Deal was asked to comment, but no response has been received.