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

by Readers Question

9:44 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 months ago

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

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

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

Martin Thomas

14:22 PM, 12th March 2021
About a month 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?!

Bob S

14:26 PM, 30th March 2021
About 2 weeks 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....

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