EPC targets are a threat to the PRS

EPC targets are a threat to the PRS

9:18 AM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago 14

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Specialist Buy to Let and commercial bank Shawbrook has released a report concerned about the threat to the rental market posed by a future C rating EPC target. Click here

The headlines of the report indicate that 23% of landlords surveyed say the EPC ratings of their properties are currently D or below and that a further quarter of landlords are unaware of the specific energy efficiency rating of their property.

Shawbrook Bank are concerned Landlords including their own borrowers could be unprepared for the proposed 2025 deadline, resulting in unrentable and unsellable properties.

The proposed regulations would require landlords to make changes to their properties to improve the energy efficiency by 2025 for all new tenancies. This means bringing their property’s EPC rating up to a C or above. For existing tenancies, landlords have until 2028.

Emma Cox, Sales Director at Shawbrook Bank, said:

“Improving the energy efficiency of properties is a vital step in reducing our impact on the environment, however, this will not necessarily be a straightforward process for landlords. The UK has a significant proportion of older properties that are particularly challenging to improve, and many landlords remain in the dark as to their properties’ current ratings.

“Landlords will require further support from both the industry and the government in order to make the changes in good time. Indeed, with the cost of labour and supplies rising, it could be a costly exercise for all landlords, but there are solutions available.

“It is in everyone’s interest that properties are made more energy-efficient, however, this cannot be done half-heartedly, and we must ensure sufficient resources are provided so that landlords can make the appropriate changes to benefit their properties and their tenants.

“We hope that our forthcoming working group provides a space for landlords and the wider industry to share ideas and solutions to confront this challenge, and we look forward to sharing the findings in the coming weeks and months.”

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Rosanne Turvey

10:03 AM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Has anyone had any experience of their EPC rating dropping down a level when they have renewed it? I have a few properties and thought I was going to be OK with the new EPC regulations coming in as only one of my properties was below a C. I have just had to have the EPC renewed on one of my properties and the assessor has downgraded it to a D when it was C previously. There is nothing different with the property it is as it was when the orginal EPC was carrie out.

Jireh Homes

10:49 AM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Yes, this is quite common, as the conventions have changed over 10 years as has the underlying computations. Typically not more than a few points but if rating was just above the band threshold this can be critical.


10:55 AM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

I think this is quite common now. I had a new build classed as B when completed and the EPC done last year downgraded it to C because of the Assessors new rules, even though everything was the same.
I think a lot of landlords will be in the same position and will be alarmed when they next have their EPC completed to see it has been downgraded.
There is no way all landlords will achieve a C rating in 3 years time - the Government need some joined up thinking here, particularly with regard to heat pump requirements which also downgrade the EPC as they use so much electricity and are not energy efficient.

Luke P

12:21 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

This will be like Covid jabs and NHS staff...Govt. will hold out to the eleventh hour hoping to capture as many Band C upgrades as possible before pulling it upon realising the decimation of the sector (if only for the tenants).

I see you Government! We all see you!!


13:39 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Yet another opportunity for 'specialist' contractors to rip off landlords, knowing they have no choice.

If Shawbrook is so concerned, they should come out now and state they will lend additional money (at low rates) to landlords to achieve Band C.

The alternative is landlords sell as residential, further exacerbating the rental housing crisis. Maybe that's all part of the plan for government to deliver more FTB homes!

Jo Westlake

14:00 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Absolutely standard for EPC scores to vary wildly between assessments.
One of mine dropped from F25 (obtained by estate agent) to G14 (my regular assessor). Another from D57 (my assessor) to E47 (insulation company assessor). Another went from E48 (estate agents assessor) to D67 (my assessor). Nothing had been done to any of those properties between assessments. Simply a difference in the observation and data inputting skills of the assessor and way the EPC programme has been altered over the years.
More annoying is when an EPC says to do something and you will get whatever score. Then when you have done the work you still don't get the promised result.

Luke P

15:07 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Westlake at 09/02/2022 - 14:00
What were the gaps between assessments please as the methodology changed in relatively recent times. Many will have dropped due to an 'error' in the calculations of the initial batch of assessed properties.


15:35 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 09/02/2022 - 15:07
"dropped", if changes are the result of genuine error at outset, you would expect to see error to both the up and the downs sides, I doubt we have any such display of varied outcome.

Jo Westlake

16:09 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to Luke P
First property November 2018 and January 2020. It was a renovation project and I wanted advice on how best to improve it's EPC. Both times it had no insulation, single glazing, no heating and the only hot water was from an electric shower.
Second property December 2008 and December 2015. Very annoyed about this one. Originally I was supposed to need cavity wall insulation, new heating controls and a new boiler to get a C rating. I've done all that and the more recent EPC says I now need solid floor insulation, solar water heating and solar photovoltaic panels to get to a C rating. So another £20000 of work. The assessor refused to accept the roof insulation I had had done because the Building Control certificate only said it complied with current standards and didn't specify the exact thickness used.
Third property January 2011 and January 2022. The original assessor failed to spot the cavity wall insulation even though the drill pattern is clearly visible.

Luke P

16:51 PM, 9th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Westlake at 09/02/2022 - 16:09
Early-2019 was when it was discovered one in four EPCs recorded the size of a property so inaccurately that it varied by more than 10% from the true size. The discrepancy was blamed on Domestic Energy Assessors using old-fashioned methods of measurement.

90% use the reduced data standard assessment procedure which employs simple averages (or standardised values) rather than actual measurement of many features that are relied on to calculate the EPC score and rating, such as volume of a property.

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