Landlords press on with EPC upgrades despite shelved regulations

Landlords press on with EPC upgrades despite shelved regulations

9:24 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago 6

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Despite the government abandoning proposals for minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), a significant number of landlords are still investing in making their properties greener.

Paragon Bank’s research found that 37% of portfolio landlords are actively upgrading their properties to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above.

This comes after the government scrapped plans last year that required all rented properties to have a minimum EPC rating of C by 2028.

The research also revealed that nearly one in three landlords (32%) already own properties that meet the previously proposed EPC C standard.

However, 16% of landlords say they are waiting for a renewed government push on energy efficiency before making improvements, and 10% said the scrapped regulations wouldn’t affect their strategy.

‘Enhance their properties so they meet EPC C or higher’

Paragon’s managing director of mortgages, Richard Rowntree, said: “It’s encouraging to see portfolio landlords continuing to enhance their properties, so they meet EPC C or higher, despite the proposed regulations being shelved.

“These landlords will join almost a third more who have carried out sustainability focused upgrades or purchased property already benefitting from energy saving technology, highlighting the commitment amongst portfolio landlords to improve the standard of privately rented homes for tenants.”

Sunak announced the shelving of the MEES changes

The survey of nearly 400 landlords with four or more properties explored their plans after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the shelving of the MEES changes.

These changes would have required a minimum EPC C rating for all new tenancies by April 2025, rising to all tenancies by 2028.

However, government data suggests that the private rented sector (PRS) is already ahead of owner-occupied homes in terms of energy efficiency.

As of 2022, 45% of PRS properties have an EPC rating of A to C, compared to 43% of owner-occupied homes.


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Comments

Cider Drinker

9:36 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Landlords press on with EPC upgrades (to help save the planet).

Meanwhile, in Ukraine and Gaza…

What is the point?

Adrian Jones

11:55 AM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I cannot understand why anyone would spend money until they know what changes Labour will make when they win the election.

Reluctant Landlord

12:13 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I would argue that given the current climate (cost of living and political environment), any work carried out by LL's at the moment is just to tick off the basics and make the property rentable. There is no incentive to pay out for works where legislation does not require it as necessary to let at the moment.
IF at the same time there is the opportunity to MAYBE carry out some intrusive works like internal insulation (or example) IF the property is empty and between tenancies, inevitably this is (arguably) a good way of achieving better insulation then POSSIBLY the work can be said to be done in part for a better EPC rating but it wont be done just for this as its a big outlay for very little return for the LL UNLESS a higher rent can be achieved.
Another misleading headline and statistic.

Ian Narbeth

12:41 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Given that upgrading EPC ratings has not and probably will never be required for owner-occupied properties, a fair solution is that landlords must declare what the rating is and tenants can then decide whether to pay the asking rent.
Many properties are difficult and some are all but impossible to upgrade at reasonable cost. Without vacant possession, it is harder and more expensive.

The clumsy hand of Government proposed Draconian fines for landlords and the requirement to spend substantial sums every five years, regardless of the value of the property or whether such expenditure would achieve a C rating.

Fortunately, someone realised that making hundreds of thousands of properties unlettable would not be good for tenants or landlords. Whether Labour has the brains to work this out remains to be seen. Once section 21 goes, landlords may be stuck with a tenant but unable to upgrade.

northern landlord

12:51 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Landlords pulling in £2000 a month rent on a high value property can afford to proactively upgrade their EPC ratings. Many other landlords at the other end of the scale will find the cost of EPC upgrades is a significant percentage of their house value and will swallow up more than a year’s rent. These landlords who tend to house the poorest tenants will wait until push comes to shove and then decide if it’s better to evict (if they still can) and carry out the upgrades and rent again at a higher rate to recover costs, or just sell up and be done with it. Either way the existing tenants will lose out.

Reluctant Landlord

14:13 PM, 17th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 17/04/2024 - 12:41
any new proposals, even if legislation demands it, any works can only be carried out IF a tenant gives permission to access.

All it takes is for the LL to explain to the tenant that IF they have to carry out this work, it will cost X and that as a result there will be an increase in rent to X.
The tenant can then refuse and exemption can be applied for that lasts up to 5 years max (and can be reapplied for thereafter). If the tenant leaves before this, then yes the LL would have to carry the works out to be able to carry on letting (if no other exemption can be gained) BUT at that stage there is a perfect opportunity to decide what to so as they have secured vacant possession so, if uneconomic to carry out the works, they can sell.

There is also no legal compulsion for a LL to seek possession of a property where a tenant refuses access for any reason as it stands and I can't see that being changed considering the emphasis is for the government to keep tenants (especially benefit claimants) in their properties for as long as possible so they don't have to deal with housing them, themselves.

The way its going with the RRB you may have to give

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