32% of PRS stock built before 1919

32% of PRS stock built before 1919

0:01 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago 19

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The NRLA says the tax system is in urgent need of reform to support energy improvements to rented housing.

It comes as MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee last week concluded that the delivery of the Government’s flagship Green Homes Grant scheme has been “poor”. It noted that the eligibility criteria for the scheme: “prevented many from being able to access vouchers for the measures they required.”

Given that over 32% of properties in the private rented sector were built before 1919, it faces a huge challenge in making homes energy efficient when compared with any other housing sector.

The Government has committed to upgrading as many private rented sector homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or better by 2030. Currently, 62% have an EPC rating of D or lower.

The NRLA is calling on the Chancellor to help achieve this by ensuring that the tax system actively supports landlords who want to make energy improvements. Ministers have proposed to increase the amount up to which landlords have to pay to make a property more energy efficient from £3,500 to £10,000.  According to Government data, the average gross rental income for landlords is £15,000 per year (before tax and other deductions), and the impact of this change is likely to decimate the income of some landlords.

The NRLA is proposing that energy efficiency measures carried out by a landlord should be offset against tax at purchase, as repair and maintenance, rather than as an improvement at sale against Capital Gains Tax. This would address anomalies – for example, whilst replacing a broken boiler is tax deductible, replacing an energy inefficient model for a more efficient boiler or heating system is not.

In 2019 the then Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, Philip Sellwood, argued that there was “no reason” why the tax system could not be used to “incentivise landlords through tax relief” to support improvements of this kind.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“The rental market stands ready to play its part in securing a green recovery. However, to achieve this we need a tax system that properly supports and encourages the work needed to ensure rented homes as are energy efficient as possible on a long-term basis. The Green Homes Grant scheme proves that short term measures do not work.

“The Chancellor needs to use tax more positively to encourage investment in energy improvements. This would play a crucial role in cutting bills for renters, reducing carbon emissions and improving the nation’s housing stock.”

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Dr Rosalind Beck

8:48 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

I wouldn't be arguing against grants. They just need to be better designed.
Also, it is important that Wales gets included in terms of grants (I don't know what is or isn't happening in Scotland and Northern Ireland). At the moment landlords in Wales are subject to the same impossible requirements to get homes up to a C but with no national funding as far as I know (but some very sporadic local grants in areas classified as deprived). Obviously, that's ridiculous.


8:52 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Some sense at last. All this grant chasing and form filling is bureaucratic and often corrupt. Let us do what we need to do, give us tax relief at our highest rates. But what we we need most from the NRLA is to lead on education and training landlords on green measures, linking with companies who have the skills and reputation and most of all with local authorities so we have a joined up (preferably national) roadmap.

Geoff Cunningham

9:11 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Let's be clear. A brand new house built to building regs will perform badly. The design criteria are not adequate in a high fuel cost environment and in GB the as-built dwelling is only about 50% as energy efficient as the design intended. A root and branch overhaul of the way we build and inspect building is required. Think Passiv Haus. If you are not aware of how a house can be built, Google it and then lobby for it.


9:38 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Geoff Cunningham at 24/02/2021 - 09:11
I agree and know from experience that a brand new outer building built in accordance with the Building Regs with a vast amount of insulation over and above required, completed with the sing-off certificate in 2018, has only D rating.


10:08 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

On a day to day front, and apologies if I am beginning to sound a bit weary, if you can find way to survive Section 24 then is this to be the next slammer from an investor's point of view. Been on my horizon for some time wondering how older housing stock can be brought up to not just C (probably doable for some but not all) but isn't it A we have to be investing towards? Unless all the older properties are raised to the ground and re-built can't see how this is going to be achieved and that should surely affect every house not just ones for renting out? My thoughts for some time have been that whereas it makes sense to preserve energy, where this is not entirely possible or practical to do to the fullest degree is it not the energy itself that needs to be produced in a more efficient, greener and affordable way even if this is subsidised rather than pouring money into sticking some kind of cladding onto Cotswold stone walls. Electricity could be produced in this way and is being already, it needs more investment on a world wide scale if it is to be effective. It is a problem for the leaders of our civilisations to solve for the long term and in doing so will allow for a compromise that could be more practical when it comes to older housing stock. In the words of Bill Gates in his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster 'we need to deploy the tools we already have, like solar and wind, faster and smarter and to create and roll out breakthrough technologies that can take us the rest of the way'.


10:28 AM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DP at 24/02/2021 - 10:08
See the other thread re EPC ratings for a wider discussion.


12:43 PM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

EPC rating is so archaic and false. The person turns up noses around the house and puts the findings into a computer, when the computer says NO and gives you the result, often wrong.
I have two Victorian flats bought at different times in the same building so different EPC person. One is a D and the other E. The people that carried these out do not know what they are looking at.
Both have been refurbed and have same modern efficient electric heating as no gas in the building, discussed with experts the best heating and hot water to use for each flat.
One EPC states Electric Storage heating - Average, which they are not, the other states room heating electric - Very Poor. The heaters are identical.
One has a large immersion heater and tank - Very poor, the other states instantaneous, which it isn't. It is a modern efficient smaller immersion heater as it is a small one bed flat it doesn't need a massive inefficient tank. These people do not know what they are looking at. How can these EPC assessors be trusted when they are clearly not trained properly.


19:31 PM, 24th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 24/02/2021 - 12:43
Not only that but in one of my cottages there is insulation between the rafters which I know because I saw it when I had a lot of roof tiles replaced but the EPC guys will not rate the cottage accordingly because I havn't got a contractors invoice as the previous owner must have done it as part of the restoration work which they carried out and he was a builder himself so probably did it himself. The point is I am not going to strip off either the roof tiles or the plasterboard inside to put in something which is already there just to get a better rating. Its all a bit mad.

Paul landlord

7:38 AM, 25th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 24/02/2021 - 12:43
A problem i have seen over a large portfolio for many years. The SAP system used is highly flawed in the first place and (apologies to all you good DEA's out there) but I have found massive inconsistencies and approaches from them. Some are done in 10 minutes or so and are highly inaccurate- gas heating, gas water and good controls in an electric only block of flats?

I used to laugh about this years ago when all we had to worry about was not being in G and then F- it was no issue just a bad joke and who cared?

But now this is a majorly serious situation and for me runs into multi £100,000s if the system allowed to continue as is.

I have a lot of old stock- moving a D to a C is going to require major measures.

I have a 1996 built 3 bed semi and that comes out as an E. All insulated, double glazed etc. Ok the boiler is SE rather than HE and this might just scrape a D.

But whats the point as the gas boiler as we all rely on is to be outlawed by the government soon anyway.

No joined up thinking in place its all 'hotch potch' with flawed systems and a large amount of incompetent inspectors

Paul landlord

11:39 AM, 25th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DP at 24/02/2021 - 19:31
Again part of the flawed system. I am in the trades and over the years built in myself when refurbing the sort of things that you mention but because they cant see it they wont acknowledge it.

Fair point you first think. But I offer to use a holesaw so things like internal wall insulation,or floor insulation (when I have a cellar below) etc can be easily and clearly viewed, measured and photographed which i can easily patch up afterwards. But I get that echoing sound keep coming back "we're not allowed to be invasive". I reply that 'they aren't being I am and its my house so surely Ican do what I want?" Makes no odds the same echo comes back. I dont blame them their rules are their rules. Its the rules that are at fault here.

Useless flawed system not fit for purpose. Even the DEAs I have used for many years tell me this at great length.

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