Surely I am not the only landlord worried about new EPC requirements?

Surely I am not the only landlord worried about new EPC requirements?

9:44 AM, 17th February 2021, About 8 months ago 154

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Hello, I was wondering if Property118 could shed some light on the new proposed changes to the EPC requirements – my understanding is that over the next few years 2025 onwards, properties in the PRS have to be rated a C as a minimum. Currently, has to be above an E.

My worry is that the government seems to be applying this rule to all properties regardless of age, although I think it may be different if it is listed. It is not difficult for a new property to meet the requirements of a C or about.

However, as the owner of several Victorian terraces, it is much more difficult if not impossible to get this rating. For example, we do not have cavity walls. I have done all the usual things like loft insulation, double glazing, energy-efficient boilers etc etc but other suggested improvements seem to be a lot of outlay for very little impact on the EPC.

For example, I think the only improvement that has been suggested is using solar panels, but the property is not suitable for solar panels.  I am concerned that I may not be able to meet the new requirements despite my best efforts.

Surely I am not the only landlord who is worried about this?

Is there a campaign to ask for property age to be taken into consideration?

Thank you

Su



Comments

by Martin Thomas

14:22 PM, 12th March 2021, About 8 months ago

What is so unjust about this move is that owner occupied houses don't have to carry out the same works. So if you sell your rented house to an owner occupier, climate change won't be affected at all! I've dropped a line to my local council (Bath) pointing out that some works such as insulating a suspended floor will cause enormous disruption to the tenants - where are they supposed to go while the works take place?
My understanding also is that by 2030, we will have to hit EPC 'B' and the only way to do that is by fitting solar panels. What I want to know is do you get the uplift on the EPC even if the roof faces the wrong way?!

by Bob S

14:26 PM, 30th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Just to re-join the thread.

Having eventually, I believe, got to the point of a current list of 32 higher efficiency night storage heaters that are allowable under EPC assessment and then having had a curved ball thrown in by one of this forums contributors that not all storage heaters are born equal I asked my prospective DEA the following question:

"A contributor reported on a Landlords forum that not all of the 32 storage heaters provide the same EPC benefit. Can you close the loop for me please and confirm if there are or are no differences in the 32 storage heaters when it comes to the allocation of EPC benefit?"

This was the response:

All heating systems can have varying efficiencies, gas boilers do and so do high heat retention storage heaters, not massively, but they can vary. It also depends on how many heaters are in the property and if they are in every habitable room.

I find this to be an example of the answer being so right that its wrong! How can a LL plan, budget and programme work to improve the accommodation for their tenants and achieve compliance by appropriate investment when its a lottery as to what the result will be as the rules are not fully exposed.

Bear in mind that the exemption for high cost / all costs is currently based on an accounting period that started on 1st October 2017. I have foolishly spent money trying to stay ahead of the curve when I already had a band E but before the new band C in 2025 was proposed. If a new accounting start date is brought in to accompany it, then previous expenditure to improve to date may not be allowable to gain a C in the future and I'll be exposed to a new £3.5k or £10.0k cap when the consultation results are announced this spring.

I have an E, I expect to get an E or better but not a C later this summer. I'll hold off initiating new works till I have better sight of the lay of the land before I spend any more.

Finally I noticed from the Non-domestic EPC consultation that not only are .gov looking to raise the standard to a band B but also to align the two criteria of Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact. PRS beware....

by Maurice Mcguire

9:22 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

I have a problem with my flat failed EPC .The advise is 50m insulation on all internal walls how do you install 50m on a kitchen wall do I have to rip out all the tiles and worktops and units,my bathroom is fully tiled and can’t match the existing tiles.And has anyone put 50m insulation on the floor did you have to remove the bath and toilet.Tried to talk to the assessor but can’t give advice.It would help if assessor was on the platform to help us answer some questions on EPC.

by Jessie Jones

9:47 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Maurice Mcguire at 10/06/2021 - 09:22
I presume that your flat has failed the current standards (E), and not the hotly discussed (C) target.
I don't think that you could successfully insulate a bathroom or kitchen without ripping everything out. And a problem that internal insulation can cause is that it moves the 'dew point' from the outside of the wall to the inside, between the insulation and the old wall. If this isn't dealt with properly then a build up of condensation will cause rot, hidden from sight but destroying the fabric of your building.
External insulation is probably the most effective solution, but a have properties where the cost of external insulation would take me over 10 years of rental income to recover.
The proposed new rules regarding EPC's haven't been finalised yet. There is also talk about re-evaluating how EPC's are calculated as they are no longer fit for purpose. This would be why the assessor can't give you advise.
It might also be that Landlords can obtain an exemption for a few years if they can show that they have spent maybe £5,000 on a property on certain energy saving improvements. It is possible that grants might be available.
Speaking for myself, I am waiting until I see exactly what the new targets, the new standards and any proposed exemptions are before I do any work.

by Mick Roberts

9:51 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 10/06/2021 - 09:47
Jessie,
I like to think I've learn't over the years about mould & condensation & am soon getting builder to put insulated plasterboards etc. on internal walls in about 1930's house to reduce the condensation upstairs. I've already got the Nuaire system.

U mention this may move the Dew point. Here's me thinking I'm being clever to try solve the problem, what can/should we do then to 'dealt with properly'?

by Jessie Jones

10:14 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2021 - 09:51
Can't help you there I'm afraid Mick. You need to find a way of getting any moisture build-up out of the gap. This means ventilation, which rather defeats the objective. I have put in internal wall insulation to two rooms in a house where the tenants refuse to open windows and dry their clothes on the radiator, but this was very much a last resort and a short term solution.
That house needs old draughty wooden windows and an open fire putting in to remove condensation. Old terraced houses do not lend themselves to low-cost energy targets.
I am waiting for the new rules before I do anything else.

by David Price

10:48 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2021 - 09:51
Mick all you need is a vapour barrier on the wall between the wall and internal insulation. This will ensure that the partial pressure of the water vapour is equal to the external pressure, from memory this is about 5mbar at 0 degrees, rather than the internal vapour pressure of around 25 mbar at 20 degrees. The vapour barrier helps to ensure that the dew point does not lie within the wall. If the vapour barrier is breached, perhaps by hanging a picture on the wall, then a damp spot is possible.
It is always better to insulate on the cold side of a wall.

by Mick Roberts

10:48 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 10/06/2021 - 10:14
Thanks,
Yes we putting in all this tight UPVC windows & doors, then giving ourselves mould & condensation.

by Mick Roberts

11:50 AM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 10/06/2021 - 10:48
Thanks David,

So a Vapour barrier? I'll mention this to the already competent builder if he din't know.

Wowee u know your stuff too.
Yes this is a detached house so plenty of external cold walls.

by Seething Landlord

12:28 PM, 10th June 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 10/06/2021 - 10:14
I agree entirely that there is no point doing anything to improve the EPC rating beyond the current minimum standard until there is a clear response from Government to the consultation and the new regulations are published.
There are so many imponderables with the anomalies built in to the current assessment system, lack of clarity about the effect of "improvements", the proposals around phasing out gas heating and possibly throwing environmental impact into the mix that sensible business decisions are impossible for the time being.

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