Landlords must pass on the £400 energy bill discount to all-inclusive tenants as part of the Energy Bills Support Scheme, the government has announced.
The authorities will introduce legislation to ensure landlords pass on the cash to the nearly 585,000 renters in all-inclusive properties.
Chris Norris, policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “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.”
Households with district or communal heating, as well as those in park homes, will all get the £400 energy bills rebate. Those who use alternative fuels like oil instead of gas will get £100.
The government is also cutting energy bills for UK businesses by around half their expected level.
The scheme will fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for firms for six months from 1 October, in a bid to stop firms going bust over winter.
Hospitals, schools and charities will also be supported
Wholesale prices, which are what suppliers pay for energy in bulk before they distribute it to customers, are anticipated to be fixed for all non-domestic energy customers at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas.
Businesses on other contracts, including variable rates, will come under a maximum discount band likely at around £405/MWh for electricity and £115/MWh for gas.