Landlords need more help to reach EPC rating C by 2025

Landlords need more help to reach EPC rating C by 2025

0:01 AM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago 20

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Only 5% of private rented households have received government help to fund energy efficiency measures, despite having the greatest need.

Although more of those classed as fuel poor live in the sector, private rented households received only half of the help given to those in the social sector.

According to the English Housing Survey, a third of private rented sector housing was built before 1919. This is the hardest to treat and accounts for a larger proportion of the sector than for any other housing tenure. Across England’s entire housing stock, 84% of properties built before 1919 had an energy rating or D or worse.

With 62% of private rented homes having an energy rating of D or below this will largely account for why 37% of all households classed as fuel poor are in the private rented sector compared to 23% in the social sector.

Data shows that 97% of private rented properties with an energy rating of D or lower could reach C or better.

Despite this, just five per cent of private rented households across England have received any financial support under Government schemes to improve the energy efficiency of housing. This compares to 21% of owner-occupiers, 12% of council households and 11% of those in housing association properties.

Ministers want all new private rented tenancies agreed from 1st April 2025 to be in properties with an energy performance rating of C or better.

According to government figures, it would cost an average of over £7,500 to bring rental properties needing it to an energy rating of at least C.

The National Residential Landlords Association is warning that this makes the Government’s ambitions to improve the energy efficiency of the rental housing stock a pipe dream when the average net annual rental income for a private landlord is less than £4,500.

That is why the National Residential Landlords Association is calling for a bespoke financial package to support the improvements that are needed.

Among the NRLA’s proposals is the development of a scrappage scheme to upgrade windows in private rented homes. A higher proportion of properties in the sector have no double glazing than any other tenure.

It is calling also for energy efficiency measures carried out by a landlord to be offset against tax as repair and maintenance, rather than as an improvement at sale against Capital Gains Tax. This would address anomalies including that whilst replacing a broken boiler is tax deductible, replacing one for a more energy efficient system is not.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We all want to see energy efficient rental homes. They cut bills for tenants, make homes more attractive to potential renters and help the country to achieve its net zero commitment.

“The Chancellor needs to develop a financial support package that works for landlords and tenants. This should especially be targeted at the hardest to treat properties where the cost of work will be prohibitive for landlords. In this way, he will also be doing the most to help the fuel poor.”

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11:37 AM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago


"With 62% of private rented homes having an energy rating of D or below this will largely account for why 37% of all households classed as fuel poor are in the private rented sector compared to 23% in the social sector." This may or may not be true, I don't know; but it's not just about fuel poverty it's also about CO2 emissions.

My rental property is already at level C. Last year coincidentally my combi gas boiler failed in both my rental property and my principal private residence. I looked into it and nothing made sense financially for both properties other than to replace one gas condensing boiler for another in both properties. Doing it anyway wasn't an option because the effect of both the Covid-19 outbreak the impact of government measures meant we didn't have the cash to do it "for the greater good."

It's easy to make the assumption that landlords are rich. For the majority that isn't the case; they are just small landlords supplementing their pensions or just people without pensions using property as a pension.

I also think however that whatever the private rental sector should have to do the public social housing sector should have to do; if the public sector can't do it, it's probably because what's being asked is unreasonable and making the PRS do it is just landlord-bashing.


12:02 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

One of my properties (which was built circa 1900) has double galzing, combi boiler, TVR's and cavity insulation but only achieved an E.

I have had damp issues for a few years and have tried lots of remedial work. I eventually got an independent damp survey done which says the property is not designed to have cavity wall insulation as it cannot breathe and to remove all of it. Cost estimate around £3,500. I am in the process of making a claim to the company that installed it under a government scheme in 2010. If I get no joy there will go to CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency).

The EPC for this property recommends floor insulation at a cost of £800-£1200 to achieve a typical yearly saving of £59. Thats approx a 17 year payback by which time the property will probably be demolished.

It is also a problem when tenants replace low energy bulbs and you get penalised! I will probably have to go round with a bag full of low energy bulbs, install them before the next assessment takes place and take them on to the next property.

They realy do love landlords dont they?


12:19 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 26/07/2021 - 12:02
Both my rental property and my principal private residence have cavities; neither has cavity wall insulation and introducing cavity wall insulation would cause problems for different reasons in both properties. As installing cavity wall installation was a requirement for the last set of grants I looked at (was it called the green home scheme?) I wasn't entitled to any grants on either property and didn't do anything.
Both properties could be significantly improved, well above level C, to improve their emissions footprint. But I haven't done anything because the numbers don't stack up and I won't be able to until they do.

With my rental property the reason I would have no interest in CW insulation is because it would cause problems with damp and would cause the floor joists to rot. And of course, as you have just found out, it is a very difficult thing to reverse.

Tim Rogers

12:30 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

So much seems to depend on the EPC inspector as well. Two mid terrace properties circa 1920's, one near heathrow. one in the medway. Near identical insulation, boiler, lighting, double glazing, cooker.
One Band C the other Band E go figure.

Then of course, has anyone else had it suggested that a fiscal inducement might improve the rating?

Does anyone know if there will be some kind of exemption if the cost of the work is too high? It was mooted a couple of years ago, but I never heard if it was adopted?


12:35 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

"So much seems to depend on the EPC inspector as well"

Absolutely. You can go through all the assessors in a block of flats and pick the most lenient.

Really the whole thing is a joke! There's a few of us who may be laughing all the way to the estate agent.


12:55 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

I have two neighbours; both properties have solid walls. Both are principal private residences; but they both have EPC certificates.

The EPC certificate for one house says that it can be improved by adding a biomass boiler. The EPC for the second house says it could be improved by having a microchp system. That's a reasonable thing to say for both houses. In both cases the recommendations would have improved their emissions. In both cases there seems to have been a reasonably enlightened inspector because there was a way forward for both houses that didn't entirely depend upon wall insulation. In at least one of the houses (which has lime mortar and lime plaster) internal insulation would probably cause damp issues and rotten joists.

However, the first house has just been done up and my neighbour didn't have the money to put in a biomass boiler system; the only thing that made sense was a gas combi boiler - other than replace the roof insulation he didn't have the cash to do anything else as the renovations were already expensive. The other house is presently being done up and as far as I can tell my neighbour isn't putting in a microchp system and is already having to make compromises over cost. The house already has a gas supply. So I'm guessing that whatever the recommendations in the EPC says that will end up being a gas combi boiler as well.

What will happen if the government introduces changes to be imposed on the PRS and not on anybody else is that the housing stock will be sold to owner occupiers and in most cases they won't have the money to do what is recommended in the EPC, even if in each case they do have an enlightened inspector.


14:15 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

The 'special measures' dreamed up for landlords will of course increase the price of renting.



14:33 PM, 26th July 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 26/07/2021 - 14:15
Yes...they will increase the price of renting for tenants and/or they will decrease the stock of rental properties available to tenants.

I suspect the recent changes requiring landlords to have an EICR or equivalent is doing the same. But the consequences of moving all PRS properties to band C will have a more dramatic effect.

Dylan Morris

1:17 AM, 27th July 2021, About 2 years ago

Of course all this nonsense doesn’t apply to council or housing association properties.


9:07 AM, 27th July 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 27/07/2021 - 01:17
Please can someone tell that to anyone who moans that private sector rents have gone up.


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