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 months ago 20

Text Size

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.”


by Michael Bond

17:19 PM, 27th July 2021, About 2 months ago

EPCs are a farce and will remain so until they overhaul the system. Are they supposed to measure eco-efficiency as defined in emissions of CO2 etc... or whether they provide a warm comfortable home for a tenant... or whether they keep tenants' fuel bills low .. or meet the whims and prejudices of the inspector you meet on the day?? Until these things are sorted out and we can get a sensible guide as to what they really want, there seems no point in wasting money trying to meet the requirements.

by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

18:51 PM, 28th July 2021, About 2 months ago

I've never had a tennant ask about the EPC. Is the scheme fit for purpose? Would we not be better licensing all landlords so we can register the benefits of the property ?

by JB

10:04 AM, 29th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 28/07/2021 - 18:51
In my experience tenants are not remotly interested in EPC's. At the moment they are just SO SO happy to even be able to find ANYWHERE to rent.

When my 'tenant find' agent puts a property up for rent she is inundated with applicants. After 24 hrs she doesn't accept any more, arranges a string of viewings in one go and rents it out to ideal tenants. No one else gets a look in.

POOR TENANTS. If you're not employed, don't have a squeekly clean record or you have a pet you've no chance.

The Government and Shelter should be ashamed of themselves as this is of their making.

by Beaver

10:08 AM, 29th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 28/07/2021 - 18:51
I think the scheme needs sorting out.

I don't have cavity wall insulation but I actually had my home scanned with a thermal camera in the evening and mostly the walls were not losing any heat. There was the odd hot spot around the edges of windows. Having a blanket ban on accessing any grants because you don't have CW insulation is nuts. There needs to be a way forward for every property and you ought to be able to present the evidence of where you are losing heat. There also needs to be recognition in whatever scheme we have of properties that are able to generate their own power.

What do you mean by licensing all landlords so that we can register the benefits of the property?

by JB

11:15 AM, 29th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 29/07/2021 - 10:08
The other thing that's nuts is if you have an EPC of D or more you can't get a grant (at least that was the case last time I looked). So anyone who's already spent out money pays again and those that haven't don't pay at all.

Last time I enquired the system was so complicated I gave up as I was told it was about to change again. In my area it seems only one quote for work (eg loft insulation) was required as other companies refused to participate, so they could charge the government whatever they fancied. Crazy

by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

21:06 PM, 29th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 29/07/2021 - 10:08
We all know there are good landlords who look after their properties and give value for money to their tenants. There are also poor landlords that break the rules and are labelled greedy. If landlords were licensed then it should be down to the council or licensing authority whether the property was fit for purpose and was energy efficient as possible. As example, my boiler in one property has been fitted with ECO controls and a solar diverted into hot water which means it's the same class as as A+ boiler, and the tenants get free hot water in the summer months, however it's not Reconised in the EPC so I only score C rating , but it should be a B.

by DSR

9:56 AM, 30th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 29/07/2021 - 21:06In THEORY a great idea if the LL is able to show for each property how he has assessed the emissions/eco status and can show how this is reflected in benefit to the tenant. Each property based on its own merits to the best standard it can be for both the planet and tenant's and LL's pocket. Perfect scenario.
REALITY any 'licencing' of your property with the LA for this basis will be pointless. They will have no idea what to do with the paperwork, be unable to assess anything or take a blinding bit of notice of how you conclude your findings. Its just too much effort and common sense required. LA's just want a tick list and if the LL doesn't tick all the boxes its short shrift to a fine. The LL didn't get to this 'standard' - LL at fault. Whack out a fine, end of.
No time lost in worrying about digesting any info sent by the LL (as we don't actually care about tenants really we just need them off our lists), so an easy 'cash in' exercise. I'd love to see how any LA's or UC would say to a tenant 'I am sorry but we wont pay the rent on the property, (even if the LL is willing to take you on a a highly risky tenant), as it has has been shown it is not a C rating. Instead we will keep housing you at emergency rates which is five times more than the private rent until such time as we find accommodation that could save you £50 a year in heating bills'.
Maybe I am becoming anti establishment in my old age, but the idea that the LA are out to help and assist these days is a crock of the proverbial. Its a total 'fine, nail and reap' culture now and in this instance the cash cow is the private LL.
As good as a LL as I am doing my best for every tenant and the longevity of my properties - I shall not be willingly sticking my head above the parapet to be shot at!
Maybe the way forward is to have in the contract a VERY clear disclaimer that says the tenant is completely willing to take on X property on the basis that the LL has shown a complete and full open assessment of the balance between the law, the eco standard possible for the rental property in question at the time of rental, and the annual costs to the tenant. All has been explained to the tenant and the tenant has decided via PERSONAL choice to rent this property as a result.
I'd love to see how a court case against a LL for failing to comply would stack up especially if it meant the tenant may face eviction from a 'illegal let'. The property owner AND the tenant on the same side? LOL!

by Beaver

11:38 AM, 30th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management at 29/07/2021 - 21:06
I think if your property's use of a solar installation is not recognised that's just crazy and that's really the point I was trying to make.

Previously we've been unable to qualify for grants if we didn't have cavity wall insulation, already had double glazing etc. But cavity wall insulation might be wrong for the property. It might be the property would benefit from a porch, replacing the windows with triple rather than double glazed, PV tiles, solar water heating, ground source heat pump, air source heat pump, biomass boiler or any number of measures that move you away from non-renewable hydrocarbon-based fuels. If someone goes "no you can't access/benefit because you've got to tick the put-in-cavity-wall-insulation-and-make-your joists rot" box then nothing is going to make any difference.

I do struggle to see this working within a licensing scheme though. It seems to me they should think through what does and does not work with the EPC system, formulate a policy that encourages a way forward for every property, even if it has solid walls, sort out the criteria by which landlords may benefit, and make sure that it is also applied to the social housing sector. If the social housing sector screams about it then it's probably an unreasonable policy, one that can't be implemented, one that will produce no benefit, or even one that will do damage.

Making all properties band C or above without first reforming the scheme will do damage.

by DSR

14:33 PM, 30th July 2021, About 2 months ago

carrying on with the thread...just been reading up what tod with the EPC on a tall Victorian semi. Although not listed the outside character is part of the appeal so I'm not going to external insulate (plus well known issues of endemic issues with this practice).
Internal insulation is a nightmare, disruptive to tenant in situ (BTW is a LL supposed to rehouse a tenant as a result of this disruption when legislation takes hold??) .

I've read up about the latest 3mm thick thermal lining papers. These are incredibly effective especially when then painted using insulating paint additives which give a combined 40% reduction in heat loss and stop condensation damp as well. Is this another insulation option instead?

by Mick Roberts

9:03 AM, 3rd September 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Apologies for posting on 4 EPC 118 links at same time, but din't want to miss that one very important person who may end up getting the Govt & Councils to see sense.

This could be a tester to see how many Landlords start packing up & how many houses they lose for tenants cause of the EPC changes.

Darlington Council is considering fining landlords up to £5,000 if they fail to improve the Energy Performance Certificate rating of their properties.

They will improve, but will the tenants rents improve accordingly to pay for New Build standards......

Over 250 landlords in Darlington who own properties with an EPC rating of F and G could be fined unless they improve the green standards of their homes.

As reported by Darlington Live, Jonathan Dulston, Darlington’s deputy council leader and cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “We know that the vast majority of private landlords stick to the rules and provide good accommodation, but we are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who do not care about their tenants or the standard of their properties.

“These new powers will improve the energy efficiency standards of private rented homes which will in turn improve residents’ health, ensuring people do not live in homes that are cold and damp. It will also help reduce fuel bills and alleviate fuel poverty and will contribute to the council’s housing and climate change strategies.

“The message is clear – private landlords need to do the right thing and make sure their properties meet the minimum standards at the very least.”

If the new powers are put into use the landlords in question will be notified that they are committing an offence.

They will be advised on energy efficiency grants and given 14 days to put plans in place to improve their properties.

However landlords that previous flaunted housing regulations could face a fine of up to £5,000 without warning.

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?