Green Deal problem – Advice Requested

by Readers Question

16:24 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Green Deal problem – Advice Requested

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Green Deal problem – Advice Requested
Green Deal problem - Advice Requested

Advice Requested

David Brinsden has a Green Deal problem and has requested advice from Property118 readers as follows:

“I have two Victorian flat conversions in Bedford, both let on LHA. Both properties have been visited by a council surveyor with a list of improvements needed. This came as a bit of a surprise!

One was easy as the property was due a new boiler & was soon installed.

The second property has got solid brick walls. I was told that I had to insulate the walls to meet a current standard. This was not cost effective as I estimated the cost to over 3000 & 3 weeks disruption.

The surveyor came clean about what had prompted the visit and said it was a government initiative as part of the Green Deal.

The most worrying thing that he has told me though is that it will be illegal to rent a property with an E rating EPC by 2016 & illegal to sell one after then.

Does anyone else know about this as it has prompted to think about putting my older property stock on the market now.

I look forward to reading your responses

David Brinsden”



Comments

THOMAS HART

8:02 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi David ,
Please visit the DECC website and search for Green Deal and ECO funding I'm sure that you will find this information most useful as it will show you not only how to improve your properties with no upfront costs to your self but there is also a cash back scheme that you will be eligible for for every measure you take out to improve reduce the carbon emissions from your properties .
As for the laws regarding EPC,s requiring to be E or above this is true however you will have until
2018 to improve your properties .
If you require any more info please contact me I have been researching the GD and ECO funding for over a year now.

9:40 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I have just spoken to the green deal information line and they inform me that the cost of insulation on a solid brick wall (anything built before circa 1968) is very expensive, £9-13000, There are no grants for this treatment and the price would be added to the power bills for the next multitude of years. This information must be passed onto any prospective tenant!! Let's just say your power bills will be even higher for the next 20 years because the government want you to repay something that will not bear fruit until 20 years in the future!
Somehow I don't think so!
Kev

Industry Observer

10:17 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Sounds to me like a reasonable ground for refusal post April 2016 and I would investigate this. Doubt the wqork would meet the Golden Rule either

Industry Observer

11:23 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Sorry meant to add post April 2018 it is thought to be grade F and G properties that fall foul not E

16:32 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Much can happen between now and 2018 and as I understand, this 'suggested' peice of legistlation has not been finalised. Beware - the GDA providers may not necessarily be the best cost effective companies to deal with. The loan of the GD is close to 7%. It may be more effective to just get a loan from elsewhere and get a company to fit at a lower cost. Who would go to a utility firm to get a new heating system!!! - but many do and find out later that they have paid 50% extra. Also sales of GD loans will written on the EPC and many buyers (if you decide to sell before 16yrs of having loan) will require the loan paid off which attracts a penalty or a reduction in the sale price. Also these golden rules are blown out of the water when the occupancy rate changes - thay are only valid for 12 months.

matchmade

17:34 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I believe this insistence on raising the property to EPC level E will only apply to landlords: homeowners as usual won't be required to do anything unless they sell. However once the general public realises that they have to raise their properties to level E, otherwise they will never be allowed to sell their homes, there is going to be an enormous political response.

Level E is actually quite hard to reach with an old pre-1920s property with solid walls, unless you are prepared to go for external wall insulation, which will destroy your original features (fireplaces, cornicing) if you have it done on the inside, and destroy the external appearance (window reveals, attractive Victorian decorative brickwork etc) if you have it done on the outside. Compulsory PVC double-glazing also ruins the external appearance of old houses in my view because the window bars are so fat, the glass will be modern super-flat which lacks character, and PVC manufactuers seem incapable of making a decent sash window. To have new double-glazed sash windows made up in wood will cost a fortune and is still much less attractive than the originals because the glass lacks variation and character. The mad rush towards converting all houses into airless sealed "green" boxes is going to lead to enormous destruction of our housing heritage.

19:37 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Here again - it is easy to rack the epc RDSAP points up without the extensive wall insulation cost. If choosing double glazing there are plenty manufactured made of timber without UPVC. This legislation (if it ever comes about) will be in direct contradition to conservation area and planning law which seeks to preserve the looks of dwellings. One has to look at the recommendations and go for the easy hits to rack up the points. I have a D on a grade (up from a E) 2 listed Georgian place which was worse than victorian at one stage without solid wall insulation.

22:45 PM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi David
I think you may have missed a trick here.
We have a number of solid wall properties of varying ages most of which have tenants who are in receipt of LHA and also other benefits. I have been given to understand that where tenants are on qualifying benefits, under the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme, so long as the tenants apply to the company and meet the qualifying standards, neither the Landlord or the tenant pays anything at all, not even by way of a charge on the electricity bill. If they apply and the property is assessed the energy companies fund the recommended improvements so long as they make economic sense, The measures include, replacement boilers for solid fuel, oil or gas over five years old, central heating systems, insulations of various kinds including solid wall and even double glazing and energy generation measures. Furthermore even if they subsequently leave and a none qualiying tenant takes their place no charges are transferred.
I am waiting to have my first properties assessed by the newly qualified green deal assessor. There seems at last to be something positive about having an LHA tenant to compensate for all the problems the new Universal Credit is going to bring.
I have also been told that with recent developments in insulation technology, internal solid wall insulation is possible without substantially reducing room sizes. As most of my solid wall properties are mid-terrace, the loss of space is minimal and the cost is nothing like the figures quoted above and they are grant aidable under both GD and ECO.
Get the tenants applying now. Good luck.
Roger

20:11 PM, 7th February 2013
About 6 years ago

WHERE is it written that you may not sell a property via private treaty unless it meets the min E EPC standard.

This as far as I am aware only applies to tenanted properties.

Clearly this will have an impact on property pricing for LL as buying a property that is up to the min E standard is a lot easier than buying a property below that standard.

In fact how long would the GD be allowed to complete if a LL purchased a property after April 2016.
What if all the builders are so busy there are none available!
Would a LL be permitted to rent a property that is below the E standard even though works are to be carried out.
It could be years to get builders to do the works.
I suppose that we will have to get some more Polish builders over here!

Or does this GD apply to EU countries.
If so you won't be able to find a Polish builder in the UK for love nor money; they will have all returned for all the GD work in Poland!!!

Mary Latham

0:26 AM, 8th February 2013
About 6 years ago

David there will also be BIG pot of ECO money for landlords with tenants who are not on any benefits - a different pot and also for working owner occupiers. Government have been made aware that targetting people on benefits as they have been will leave a lot of properties outside of the Golden Rule and they have addressed this issue.
Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

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