Cavity wall insulation to get block down to EPC rating C?

Cavity wall insulation to get block down to EPC rating C?

8:53 AM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago 10

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I have a flat I rent. It is 1 of 4 in a block. It is located on the first floor. The other flat on the same floor is also rented. The 2 flats on the ground floor are both privately owned. The flats have an EPC rating of D. This is going to cause me a problem after 2025.

The EPC report recommends cavity wall insulation to get the property to a C rating. This obviously can’t be done in isolation.

The Freehold is up for auction, (no I’m not interested), so we are effectively without a landlord at the moment.

Does anyone have any suggestions or information that can help?

Many thanks

Mel



Comments

Glyn Jenkins

9:48 AM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago

Start worrying a bit nearer the time.

TheMaluka View Profile

15:05 PM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago

The freehold of your block is the most important acquisition you could possibly make. Get interested.

Ian Narbeth View Profile

16:07 PM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Glyn Jenkins at 25/08/2022 - 09:48I disagree. Mel is right to worry now. Nearer the time there will be tens of thousands of landlords scrambling to get work done to improve their EPC ratings. Contractors to do the work will be (a) expensive and (b) so busy that the works won't be finished (or in some cases started) in time.
This is a major problem that I predict will blow up in landlords' faces. Up to £30,000 fine for renting out a sub-C rated property unless you have an exemption and if landlords have not even started the works, I can see Councils fining them left, right and centre.

Ian Cognito

16:54 PM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago

Retro-fitting of cavity wall insulation can lead to big problems.
Whilst an unfilled cavity has, by definition, an air-break between outside and inside walls, poor quality cavity insulation can end up absorbing moisture and thereby bridging the gap.
If rooms are large enough, then internal insulation is a viable option. If not, invetstigate the possibility of external insulation of the full block (which would require agreement of freeholder and other three leaseholders).

TheMaluka View Profile

17:25 PM, 25th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Cognito at 25/08/2022 - 16:54
Yet another reason for owning the freehold if you possibly can.

Ian Narbeth View Profile

9:55 AM, 26th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Cognito at 25/08/2022 - 16:54I would be very concerned about external works even on a freehold property. First it significantly alters the outside which will change the appearance of what are in many cases good-looking older houses. Second, with semi-detached and terraced houses you end up with a mish mash as one house chooses one type of insulation and the neighbour another. Third the companies doing the work are likely to be insubstantial so will not be around if problems are caused later and fourth will other problems be created such as damp because the house cannot breathe as it was designed to do?

Ian Cognito

10:58 AM, 26th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 26/08/2022 - 09:55Rarely do I disagree with your sage advice. However, on this occasion...
1) Yes, external insulation can signifantly change the appearance. Sometimes adversely, but often beneficially.
2) My post specifically mentioned insulation of THE WHOLE BLOCK (in Mel's case, a block of four). Hence, no mish-mash.
3) Do not use a company that only fits insulation. Use a reputable builder that does other work but has experience of fitting external insulation.
4) A property does not breathe through solid walls. So long as air-bricks, soffit vents etc are not covered, external insulation will not have an adverse effect. Contrast this with the replacement of drafty old wooden frame windows with new upvc (if no trickle-vents installed or kept open).

Melvyn Tibbs

10:35 AM, 27th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Cognito at 25/08/2022 - 16:54
Hi. Thanks for the input. I'm going to have to wait for the new freeholder to be appointed on this I think. Both internal and external insulation is not really an option. Whilst I am aware of the limitations of cavity wall insulation, it's the only sensible, cost effective measure.
I think my original post was to discover if anyone knew of a process to only cavity wall insulate one apartment in a multiple block.
I planned to offload the flat in 2028 and sell to another landlord with my other flats. Unless the government comes to its senses (not likely), I'll pull that date forward. Another rental off the market. I'm going to buy shares in a tent manufacturer.

Jireh Homes

19:27 PM, 30th August 2022, About a month ago

Hi Mel - whilst not answering your direct question, do not simply take the recommendations on the EPC report as the only options to raise the SAP score into Band C. It may be there are other options which your DEA surveyor should be able to advise, or you could consider the exemption route as individual external insulation on an individual flat is not a practical consideration.

Peter G View Profile

14:48 PM, 1st September 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by TheMaluka at 25/08/2022 - 17:25or get a share of the freehold if the costs are too high, pooling with some/all the other flat owners.

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