Sunak’s betrayal: How the PM stabbed landlords in the back with his EPC U-turn

Sunak’s betrayal: How the PM stabbed landlords in the back with his EPC U-turn

16:57 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago 74

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Rishi Sunak has once again shown his true colours as a Prime Minister who does not care about the interests of landlords and the private rented sector.

In a shocking move, he has scrapped the plans to enforce minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings for rented homes, which would have required landlords to upgrade their properties to a C rating. To me, the EPC rules should either not have been introduced without a firm and achievable deadline – an insinuated deadline created lots of confusion among landlords – or the government shouldn’t have bothered with the notion that only rented homes needed energy improvements.

The PM’s decision is a slap in the face for thousands of landlords who have already invested in improving the energy efficiency of their properties, in anticipation of the new regulations.

Some landlords have spent thousands of pounds on installing insulation, double glazing, new boilers and renewable energy sources.

And let’s not forget that thousands of landlords will have sold their properties – some will have offloaded at a loss – because they could not afford the necessary EPC improvements.

Upgrading properties to meet the EPC standards

For those landlords who have already invested in upgrading their properties to meet the EPC standards, Sunak’s decision is a bitter blow.

They have spent their hard-earned money on making their properties more energy-efficient, and now they are being told that it was all for nothing.

This is a betrayal of their trust, and it will leave many landlords feeling resentful.

However, I accept that without EPC criteria, there is no guarantee that landlords will invest in making their properties more energy efficient.

Why can’t we have a staged approach? Why couldn’t we move to a D rating, with exemptions for listed homes, and then a few years later to a C? (And then, I’m guessing, the climate crisis hoaxers would demand an A rating…).

‘Landlord’s EPC deadline: Does anyone else feel conned?’

But we can’t pretend that something like this was not in the offing – I raised the issue when I asked: ‘Landlord’s EPC deadline: Does anyone else feel conned?

This is when the landlord’s friend Michael Gove hinted that too much was being asked of landlords, and the costs were too high.

Now, Sunak claims that he made this U-turn because he felt the costs involved were too much at a time when many people are facing financial difficulties.

He also said that he wanted to have a more honest and pragmatic debate about how to achieve Net Zero emissions.

But these are just empty words from a Prime Minister who has no vision or leadership. Remember, this is a leader who wasn’t voted into power by us or even the Conservative Party members. He’s a placeman for the Parliamentary loons running (ruining?) this country.

Landlords and landlord organisations have been asking for a firm deadline for the EPC regulations for years now, so we had something to work towards.

It didn’t come.

Necessary to help landlords and tenants

I’ve also got issues with Sunak’s argument that scrapping the EPC criteria is necessary to help landlords and tenants during the cost-of-living crisis.

This argument is flawed because scrapping the EPC ratings will not help landlords in the long term.

In fact, it will probably make it more difficult to rent out homes in the future since tenants will want to live in energy-efficient homes that are cheaper to heat.

Landlords who do not invest in making their properties more energy-efficient will find it difficult to attract tenants.

Indeed, we saw this week that landlord investors are unwilling to buy a home that doesn’t have a C rating. This is the direction of travel, whether we like it or not.

Landlords who have improved their EPC rating

Sunak is not only betraying landlords but also tenants because landlords who have improved their EPC rating have had to put rents up. Sunak has belatedly acknowledged this.

This is in a ‘cost-of-living’ crisis.

Now Sunak says he is still committed to meeting the 2050 Net Zero target.

What does this mean? What can we expect as landlords?

Landlords deserve better than this.

We also deserve a Prime Minister who respects our contribution to the housing market and supports us to make our properties greener and more comfortable.

Will landlords vote Conservative at the next election?

After this debacle, will landlords vote Conservative at the next election? The answer will be Yes because the prospect of Labour getting in (which I don’t for a second believe they will) means the EPC regulations will be back on the agenda, along with other draconian legislation aimed at wiping out those nasty landlords in the UK.

Who will fight our corner? Who will stand up and explain that without our investment efforts and time spent providing homes, the country needs us?

And if we are to improve EPC ratings in the future, make it for ALL homes not just those in the private rented sector. Afterall, the ‘climate crisis’ affects everyone in the country and not just private sector tenants – does it not?

But, just in case, here’s a helpful message to a future government: Please reinstate section 24 so we have a chance of making a profit and commit to helping us provide the desperately needed warm homes that tenants need.

It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader

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John Mac

12:10 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reinstate Sec24?

You needn't worry Labour will re-introduce the 2030 targets & will prob go even further & also reinstate the EPC requirements. - Thinking the Cons will get re-elected is a long stretch to say the least!

Steve A

12:12 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

I have a mix of EPC C and D properties. My rental agent advised me to do nothing until the proposals were actually confirmed. He said it was unlikely they would really happen. Looks like he gave me good advice !


12:18 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Some people are never happy. ECP C compulsory - Bad news. EPC C cancelled (postponed) - Bad news. Pathetic attitude. I was improving the EPC of my properties before it became a eco fashion. I wouldn't rent out a house that I wasn't happy to live in myself and I haven't put the rent up on my properties for the last 10 years. The problem is too many landlords are get quick rich fools.


12:21 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Some mixed messages there, LD, although I generally agree with your frustration.

You say 'Landlords who do not invest in making their properties more energy-efficient will find it difficult to attract tenants.' Therefore, those who have already invested should be well positioned. However, when there aren't enough rentals to meet the demand, tenants will put energy efficiency second to having somewhere to live.

Hopefully, this announcement will make selling lowere EPC properties easier.

York student landlord

12:22 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

So they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t? Anybody with any ounce of business sense would know not to spend thousands on their properties or indeed sell them because of the fear of the C rating being introduced. There was always a very good possibility that it would get kicked down the road, diluted to D or cancelled completely. spending money at a point until it became law would clearly be a waste of money and anybody that has done so only has themselves to blame. Yes, it might get introduced in some form or another, and when it becomes law, only at that point landlords should take action, and not before. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions and not blame their bad decision making on others. While some landlords may now be out-of-pocket, I believe the majority were waiting for this to be implemented before spending money and are relieved that (albeit perhaps only temporarily) they have breathing space for a good few years.


12:24 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Nothing is stopping landlords improving their homes. We shouldn’t need government to tell us what to do.
Listed properties should NOT be exempt. There are changes that can be delivered without risking the wrath of Hysteric England ( 🙂 ). When all permitted changes have been addressed then they can apply for an exemption.

Finally, Labour WILL win the next election.

Nikki Palmer

12:31 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Clearly he can't win - I am sure the majority of Landlords are rejoicing in the news.

Those that invested in their properties to make them more environmentally friendly can now reap the rewards and raise the rents as their properties should be more desirable and economical residences to live in (assuming that tenants listen to the news and understand what has been happening!)

Those that sold - unlucky, knee jerk reactions.

Until such time as these Bills have been passed I never advise Landlords to do anything unless absolutely essential, and it's nice to see the comment written by Stephen Allison actually praising his agent. A rarity on this forum.


12:34 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Please consider voting Reform.
They are more landlord friendly and it will send a message to the conservatives.

Badgers tusk

12:39 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

This is great news for landlords that we don’t have to do this and great news to the tenent who won’t have to pay for it through rent increases. Its a win win. Some people are never happy.

Adrian Jones

12:40 PM, 22nd September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Stephen Allison at 22/09/2023 - 12:12
Sounds like you've got a sensible agent Stephen.

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