Heated debate in Commons over scrapping EPC targets for landlords

Heated debate in Commons over scrapping EPC targets for landlords

0:01 AM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago 21

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MPs clashed in a Commons debate on reaching net zero by 2050, with one MP calling the scrapping of EPC targets for landlords “unforgivable”

Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho told MPs the decision to do away with energy efficiency targets was driven by the financial burden it would have placed on landlords.

Estimated costs to carry out energy efficiency improvements could have seen landlords having to fork out between £10,000 – £15,000.

Cost property owners and landlords up to £15,000

Liberal Democrat MP, Wera Hobhouse, asked the Energy and Net Zero Secretary to allow landlords to offset spending on insulation against their income tax bills.

She said: “It is unforgivable that the government have cancelled the obligation for landlords to upgrade homes to an EPC grade C rating by 2028 at the latest.

“A comprehensive home insulation scheme would reduce bills and carbon emissions this winter. I am going to make a proposal that might sound quite attractive to Conservative ears because it is about incentivising and tax breaks.

“Will the Secretary of State consider allowing landlords to offset spending on insulation against their income tax bills? That would benefit tenants by enabling them to live in warm and comfortable homes.”

Ms Coutinho told the debate income tax relief was not the “best response”.

“The real-world reason for why we did not pursue energy efficiency targets is that it could have cost property owners and landlords up to £15,000, and we did not want to put further pressure on rents at a time when families are really struggling.

“With regard to the Hon. lady’s policy on income tax relief, I suggest that is not necessarily the best response, because a lot of landlords are pensioners and will not necessarily pay income tax.”

Cost renters an extra £300 a year

Other MPs also criticised the government’s watering down on energy-efficiency targets.

Green party MP Caroline Lucas told the debate tenants will struggle to pay bills.

She said: “We have heard from the Climate Change Committee that the changes when it comes to landlords and efficiency standards in homes will cost renters an extra £300 a year.

“The Office for Budget Responsibility is clear that, as a result of the changes that are going to be made, our dependence on gas will cost us more.”

Ed Miliband told the debate: “The government now say that landlords will not have to insulate homes, but as the Climate Change Committee points out, these regulations would have reduced renters’ energy bills significantly.

“Moreover, the cost savings would have outweighed any changes in rent. Therefore, they are not lowering costs; they are raising them.”


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Comments

Mick Roberts

11:15 AM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

They still getting this wrong, It's tenants that's gonna' end up paying for this. No more cheap rents.
My tenants will be paying £3000 per year more each tenant to then bring them up to normal rents which may then cover this.

Martin Thomas

11:56 AM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

There is an issue of practicality - do tenants really want their floors ripped up so insulation can be inserted between the joists? Or their rooms made smaller because insulation is fixed to the external walls? And where will they live while this disruptive work is carried out?
It's high time MPs forgot about soundbites and concentrated on the practicalities!

John Mac

12:24 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

1st off the "Net Zero" policy is completely bonkers based on lies, there is NO Climate Emergency.

2nd it won't cost Renters anything "extra" as they are already paying the out of control high energy costs - Price Cap my ar#e!

3rd in what universe does spending £15k to save £300/year make any financial sense? Payback in 50 years!

ScotsLL

13:07 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

Every time we see the word 'landlord' we need to change it to read 'landlord and tenant '. There can be no landlord with tenant and what affects the landlord will affect the tenant. So as they hammer the landlord, they also hammer the tenant.

Michael Booth

14:44 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

What these politians fail to let you know, that they have sat back and listened to prs for once, 100 of thousandsoflandlordsare and have left the industry because of this systematic penalising landlords via council reg ,licences taxes and now the final straw so called Green dream of reaching net zero. I am one of those landlords who was in the process of selling up ,but the change in epc regs l have put on gold saving 15 people being homeless through no fault of there's, when l asked the tennants do you want your home brought to a epc c . l got the reply WHATS A EPC.

Michael Booth

15:16 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

Milliband is wrong again landlords will still insulate their properties via eco4 system where possible, what they won't do is be held to ransome at a cost of 10.to 20 k satisfy some political agenda , you want it doing you pay all costs simple try and pass the bill to landlords then be prepared for mass homelessness it simple Mr Milliband.

Jo Westlake

15:26 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

With regard to the Hon. lady’s policy on income tax relief, I suggest that is not necessarily the best response, because a lot of landlords are pensioners and will not necessarily pay income tax.”

Is this person totally bonkers? Do they not realise pensions count towards taxable income and taxable rental profits are pretty much based on turnover? Pensioner landlords may be basic rate tax payers but very few will be non tax payers.
While the majority of landlords may only own one or two properties around half of PRS properties are owned by portfolio landlords who are mainly higher rate tax payers. Expecting us to pay for eco upgrades after paying 40% of our turnover as income tax and the extra Section 24 tax (which in some cases means paying tax on a loss) is totally ridiculous.
I'm all for sensible energy saving measures but they have to be financially viable. Having laws in place that cause mass evictions and much higher rents really isn't helpful.

Jim K

16:14 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

'With regard to the Hon. lady’s policy on income tax relief, I suggest that is not necessarily the best response, because a lot of landlords are pensioners and will not necessarily pay income tax.”
Given the state pension is over £10000 I struggle to see how a pensioner LL would not pay at least some income tax?

JeggNegg

16:51 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

i think i am on the same page as JIM K. if LL's cannot offset energy costs against rental income, (and assuming LLs will NOT receive a 100% Govt. Grant ) then it can only be offset against CGT. i dont know the % of LLs who do and do not pay income tax, but surely that is better than waiting to offset against CGT, as it might be many years before the LL sells that property to be able to offset the costs. i am not a tax advisor, but if it were offsetable against income tax, in the year energy improvements made, and the LL made a loss in that year because of the legally required upgrade, can that loss be carried forwards to future tax years and offsetable against future profits?

Troydave

20:52 PM, 19th October 2023, About 6 months ago

I speak to tenants quite regularly who are entitled to free insulation or free heating upgrades due to low income or vulnerability but more often than not they are not interested or can not be bothered to prove evidence of entitlement.
Sometimes it like banging your head against a brick wall.

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