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

Text Size

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.”

Share This Article



11:55 AM, 25th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 25/02/2021 - 11:39
Paul I agree, when I refurbish my properties I insulate under the floor, especially if the floorboards need to come up to rune electrics etc and I take photos. The EPC ignore this.
With the technology available today they should provide a heat map showing the actual amount of heat being lost, not just it is a solid wall so terrible.
A lot of councils won't allow exterior insulation and render and if done inside could make room sizes too small, how are we supposed to bring a property up to standard if the councils stop you. I have this on two properties, cannot put new windows in as sash and in a conservation area, tried discussing with the council but got nowhere, even though neighbouring properties have just put horrible uPVC and ignored the council and they do nothing.

Reluctant Landlord

20:23 PM, 25th February 2021, About 3 years ago

I have spent today in total anguish. I have solid wall flats above shops in a Conservation Area. To top that the buildings Grade II listed.
I approach the Council for 'help'.
Me - Is it even conceivable you will allow external wall insulation or to change the wood sash windows to D/G? I am trying to be proactive and get my properties up to Govt EPC C 'standard' in advance of 2025.
Them - Err maybe, maybe not. You will need Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent will be required too to do that.
Me - so has this been granted to any properties before, just so I can understand if I even get a chance at gaining permission?
Them - no so I can’t provide any guidance on what was or was not allowed previously. If you are replacing the windows in two or more flats within the same building, you can make one application that covers all of them for a single fee of £407. You could also include the external insulation within this application under the one fee. Replacing the windows and/or cladding of shop premises would be £234.

So basically I need to pay to find out for sure that I then need to pay to apply for Planning Permission. If I do, I then need to get drawings completed etc and pay also for Listed Building Consent on top of that. At that point they will probably say no as there is no previous precedent set - more money to appeal?

So, I wait, till some other sucker forges a path to find out, then use this as a precedent?

I am desperate to find out if an exemption can be sought, not only if the listed measures cannot be actually fitted, but if the only measures that can be done (eg. internal insulation) can be actually rejected by the owner because of the cost/upheaval to the existing tenant etc. Surely the govt cant MAKE a private LL conduct internal works if neither the property owner or the tenant want this and they have shown they have done all they can except this to get the EPC to a C?


21:32 PM, 25th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 25/02/2021 - 20:23
Unfortunately Councils don't seem to be helpful these days.
Maybe speak to English Heritage regarding this, they may be a bit more helpful and if they don't object it is harder for the council to. The trouble you have with the planning is if you put external cladding and windows on the same application and it is refused for say cladding, the whole application is refused. You would to put in another separate application just for the windows. A lot of money, you would think the Council would be more helpful that you are trying to keep stock in prime order.

Jireh Homes

10:12 AM, 27th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by RL at 25/02/2021 - 20:23
Hi RL - as an option and way out of the anguish, have you considered applying for an exemption on basis permission to modify a Listed Building not allowed, by the same Council who manage the EPC exemption register?


13:11 PM, 27th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 25/02/2021 - 21:32
English Heritage are on record as pointing out that replacing sash windows in older properties with something more "efficient" is not the answer.

They stress that the really big issue is the elimination of draughts.

As the owner of a large and draughty Victorian semi myself I wholeheartedly concur.

Renovating my large single glazed sashes including the addition of draught suppression measures - to include the replacement of the traditional sand and cement used to close the gap between the timber frames and the masonry on the outside of the building with a proprietary modern sealant (not silicone!) has done wonders.

Some of these gaps may appear absolutely tiny, but if you add them all up on an area basis it will likely amount to the equivalent of having a giant hole in the wall.


13:27 PM, 27th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 27/02/2021 - 13:11
Badger, I agree, the properties I own that have been converted to flats (not by me) and have sash windows, I have had them professionally renovated to stop the rattling and draught proofed, new beading, etc. These are well past their prime due to lack of maintenance before I bought the properties (all sills rotten). The windows cannot be double glazed as the beading is too small for even the thin double glazed units for sash windows.
To replace will cost an absolute fortune as new bespoke windows will need to be made and these are big windows.


13:56 PM, 27th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 27/02/2021 - 13:27
When we first moved into our current Victorian semi property back in the very early nineties we inherited windows that had been very poorly maintained.

The vastly expensive solution then was to replace the frames, the sashes themselves being judged in good nick.

One of the statements made by the firm that did the work was that the new replacement sills were of of a type of timber that could exist for 100 years under water. I will say no more about that ridiculous claim except to note my embarrassment at being taken in by it. The firm weren't cowboys BTW, just naive as I was myself at the time.

At first we kept the new windows very well maintained but after a very poor experience with a decorator I am ashamed to say that I let things go for well over ten years.

(Kudos to Sadolin SuperDec paint for performing according to the claims on the tin - and way beyond TBH - but even it eventually gave up and started to let water in!)

When I eventually turned to the work myself after far too long I discovered considerable rot that needed attention. The new timber that had been installed 25+ years previous was rubbish compared to the 100+ year old original stuff in the sashes themselves.

Anyway, to cut an already too long story short, the solution - which continues to hold up still after 5 and more years - is this stuff:


Typically, I order from here for delivery:


but the system is also available from really good independent decorator's merchants around the country as well.

Expensive, very expensive in fact, but if it does a good solid durable job, and my experience is that it does, then it is well worth it - especially compared to the cost of replacing the frames.

Mostly I use the 16 hour products BTW as the open time on the one hour stuff is a bit short on a warm day.

I also recommend the non-traditional Repair Care window glazing sealant.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with either of these companies BTW. I'm just a happy customer that has searched long and hard for a durable solution and believes that he has eventually found one.

The National Trust specifies for the Repair Care system for all its properties.

A final note: I have used two part fillers in the past on other properties for this type of window repair work but these have always let me down. Great for interior work but I would never use them on exterior woodwork again.


14:07 PM, 27th February 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 27/02/2021 - 13:11
For anybody that is curious about the sealant that I now use to seal timber frames to external masonry - here it is:


Once again, I have absolutely no affiliation to the company.

Just passing on knowledge gained the hard way after a lifetime of being conned by manufacturers claims for their products.

Reluctant Landlord

10:50 AM, 1st March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jireh Homes at 27/02/2021 - 10:12
That was what I think I will be doing, but just wondering if an exemption is only valid if you can show that you have jumped through all the hoops and can show that the current measures can't be applied. Can you apply for exemption if you assume that because of the issues with planning, listed building etc then you wont get permission, or do you have to go through the whole process and pay for all this, just to prove you can't??

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now