EPC A-C proposals affecting landlords/tenants and owner occupiers alike?

EPC A-C proposals affecting landlords/tenants and owner occupiers alike?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

0:02 AM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago 18

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Hello, the Renters’ Reform Bill, should it be enacted, will as we know mean even fewer rental properties available and higher rents (supply and demand). Never mind rental properties not being able to meet EPC A-C  that cannot legally be rented out! What happens to those tenants living in properties that cannot meet EPC A-C? Immediate eviction without notice?

Also, the media are oddly silent regarding owner-occupied homes having to meet EPC A-C (where technically feasible and cost-effective – at what cost and to who?) by 2035, with fuel-poor homes by 2030.

What happens if these owner-occupied properties don’t meet EPC A-C? Can your home no longer be your home? Is it a tent in your garden or the local park?

Just thoughts for the Property118 community,

Judith


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Comments

GlanACC

12:24 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Even if they don't meet a C rating they CAN be legally rented out as long as you have an exemption. Once you have spent up to the 'cap' (£10,000) on energy efficiency, then even if it still doesn't come up to a C rating you can get an exemption and still rent it

Reluctant Landlord

12:29 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 22/05/2023 - 12:24
but by then a lot of LL will have just sold up. Many will look at the outlay V return and if it doesn't stack up leave the PRS. With all the other issues like tax, increased legislation. RR bill etc more threats of prosecution, and anti LL PR what;s the incentive to stay exactly??

northern landlord

12:42 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Quite right Judith. The most common EPC rating is now D. I can never see the Government trying to impose an EPC of C onto owner occupiers. At a cost around £8,000 per house that would be a vote loser for sure. My own house is rated as D but as an owner occupier I have done my research and am not rushing out to upgrade as I know the return for the outlay is pretty pathetic. As far as the PRS goes, on the face of it, if you leave out the unintended consequence of a reduction in PRS supply it’s a winner for the tenant vote (those who have actually managed to find a place that is) , who wouldn’t like to save £200-300 a year at absolutely no cost to themselves? The landlords might not like it but an election does not hinge on the votes of a relatively few landlords, so I expect the C rating will be inevitable.
As you say Judith it’s not clear what will happen if a rental property does not meet EPC C when the regulations come in. The way things are stacking against landlords you will probably be fined and all the time your property does not meet the regulations the tenant will live rent free or at some reduced rent, it will not be a simple route to eviction that is for sure. You could evict and sell as the regulations come in but will you be allowed to? Faced with a mass exodus it could be made law that any PRS property for sale must either have an EPC rating of C or have an exemption so landlords will have to pay up either way, who knows?
While landlords are generally perceived to be rich I can’t afford to lose up to 18 months’ rent per property on upgrade costs and nor do I expect can many others. Like me many landlords tend to be older and are now looking for a way out. Each property I sell now will net me around 20 years net rent that I can do whatever I want with. Conscience has stopped me from selling up as I have good tenants who I know could not afford market rents. Once again I expect this is a common situation.
Maybe the EPC regulations could be used to ease any consciences. Perhaps landlords should advise tenants about the upcoming Government regulations, tell them the cost and inform them that the cost is unsustainable at the current rent levels so the property must be sold before, say, 2026 and that if they don’t like it they should take it up with their MP. Essentially they will have a few years notice and maybe their protests to Government will carry more weight than anything landlord protests might do.

clarkydaz

15:58 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 22/05/2023 - 12:24
This actually makes a mockery of the whole situation

GlanACC

16:13 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by clarkydaz at 22/05/2023 - 15:58
Clarky, can't disagree with that. The government needs to make its mind up, does it want a system based on energy prices or CO2 reductions. You get a better EPC rating for Gas but the CO2 is highter than electricity. I have a couple of all electric properties with new heaters and well insulated - rated at an E, so no prospect of getting anywhere near a C. Have talked to my bod and even fitting solar power (which I will likely have to do at a cost of around £9k) will still only push it up to a D, then I will apply for exemption which I will get. I won't be doing anything until 2027 at least as I will hope the tenants will leave and I can sell. My next strategy would be to offer the tenant £10k to move out (done this already with one tenant and they did) as this is still cheaper in the long run than doing the upgrade.

Helen

22:23 PM, 22nd May 2023, About A year ago

The way that owner occupiers (those with mortgages) can be forced to upgrade their insulation and try to get a higher EPC rating is if mortgage lenders won't lend on properties with a low rating. However, they won't want to turn away business. I hear that some are offering discounts for higher ratings though. If we can't rent below level C there's no way we will be granted Buy to Let Mortgages, so that's a sure fire way to remove thousands more rental properties from the PRS. I am remortgaging now and I am having to provide EPC certificates.

Mark mcardle

5:35 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Absolutely right, but isn't there a time frame to the exemption? Something like 3 or 5 years if I remember?

Christopher Lee

5:44 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 22/05/2023 - 12:24
Where did you get the £10k cap from? That's just speculation at the moment.

GlanACC

7:22 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Christopher Lee at 23/05/2023 - 05:44
Well it has been published many times as a proposed £10K

Taken from Government website

Policy paper
Improving Energy Performance Certificates: action plan - progress report
Published 8 November 2021

Many many sources have also reported on this including the NRLA (of which I am a member)

Christopher Lee

7:48 AM, 23rd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 23/05/2023 - 07:22
My point is the proposals aren't live yet and are clearly subject to change as they already have done.
Also, if you spend 10k today, will it count..?

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