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

by Readers Question

9:44 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks 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

andrew sheppard

10:59 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

We have 14 btl houses all D&E, mostly terraced. It would seem that unless we apply external insulation we would not meet EPC C. ive been trying to get companies to come and advise/help/quote, nobody seems interested. It is a joke really and could lead to 14 happy tenants, many long term, having to be asked to leave and i sell the property. Meanwhile I understand council property and housing associations are excluded. Also my own home is not under the same requirement. Basically another beat up on landlords - Private rental property is less than 20% of housing stock, surely you start on the 80%?

Mike

11:00 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by margarita delaorden at 17/02/2021 - 10:24Have you considered using Heat Source Pump heating , this uses electricity more efficiently to extract heat from the ambient and surrounding air, choose a heat pump that can extract heat from air as cold as minus 10 or more degrees, these heat pumps uses 3 to 4 times less energy than the heat they extract.

Many people cant comprehend how can one extract heat from air when it is Minus 10 degrees, yes you can if you take this minus 10 air into a refrigerator and try and cool it even more to say -30 degrees, that means the difference which is 20 degrees is what you will get to heat your house and so the final -30 degrees cooled air is chucked out into the atmosphere where it will mix with the ambient air and warm up from -30 to -10 so the air outside continue to move and mix .

Indiajane Middleton

11:01 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

We have a few Victorian terraced properties some of which have been converted from back to brick . The conversions all had the same spec with insulation etc but the EPC's varied between B and D. The unconverted Victorian properties vary between D and E. I have spoken to a few energy assessors. Apparently one of the quickest ways to get more points quickly is to use solar panels. If you have no cavity walls, you can also line from the inside and do underneath the floors which is obviously going to be very expensive and disruptive.
To get a C rating for an older property is the energy assessors told me "very difficult and in some cases almost impossible"
If you do any work then always take photos of the process as evidence as some assessors will not accept your word and will wanted dated evidence and receipts of works carried out.

silversurfer2017

11:04 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

EPC ratings do not take into account the aspect, by that I mean which way they the external walls are facing, be that North , South , East or West.
Recently had an EPC on a modern ground floor flat. The only external wall for the two bedrooms and living room face directly South. All other walls butt up to adjacent flats or a communal hallway. The flat is heated with an electric hot water boiler which supplies 5 radiators. The tenant is surprised how little it costs to heat even in winter. On a sunny day the solar gain is more than enough to heat the flat. However the EPC inspector who came round to do the assessment, (fortunately got a C rating), said that aspect is not taken into account when calculating the rating. So a North facing flat with virtually no sun costing twice as much to heat would get the same C rating! logical or not?

John

11:09 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

I have been on this since last summer.

Solid walled properties are going to be hard to sort out.

They will need internal insulation fitting, as external will not be allowed in many places as the architectural landscape of whole cities could be changed.

A current issue is the regs only recognise 50mm or more of wall insulation. They will not recognise 25mm of rigid fitted. In many cases it is only possible to fit 25mm of insulation (going up staircase for example). This is a big problem for me, so will be for many others with little room to spare.

I contributed to the consultation before christmas and await the outcome.

It is actually very easy to get standard modernish homes up to a C rating. It may well be adding floor insulation to add one or two points to tip you into the C rating. So for me to rip up a ground floor and insulate and then replace with new boards, it is possible. But i can do the work myself so i dont incur the high labour charges. I am currently down to get one property insulated on a scheme and this will be free as the tenant qualifies for the work. I am also getting a room in a roof insulation as this tenant also qualifies.

As to houses which dont qualify, i will be doing some work in the attic rooms to reboard and insulate them out. I have worked out my materials cost will be about £500 per house, but the rooms are not that big. Maybe 4mx 3.5m floor area. This will greatly push up the rating.

The final solution i have realised is to fit solar. It will cost about £2500 per house and that is for a 3kw system. Solar will greatly push you up the table. So it might be that we have to fit solar as the solution if we cannot insualate.

So budget £3k per house to bring it up to meet a C rating.

Denise G

11:23 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Annabel Blake at 17/02/2021 - 10:20
us too - and if we wait too long they will be unsaleable, so what then?

reader

11:24 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Hi Folks,

Agree with all of the above but also please consider the government plan to phase out gas boilers in next few years. Total madness.

John

11:31 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by at 17/02/2021 - 11:24
Gas boiler phase out is NOT an issue.

All new gas boiler are going to need to be hydrogen ready.

In the mid 2030's hydrogen will replace the gas as the fuel. This is being prepared now. Leeds is going to be the test area. The whole gas network will be running hydrogen eventually.

The cost of switching the boiler to hydrogen will cost £85 parts and 1h of labour. So the cost is not an issue. These figures come from worcester bosch boilers.

There is a great video on utube discussing this switch.

H21 is the project taking this forward. https://www.h21.green/

So people do not need to worry as the cost will not be that great when the time comes. I am buying normal combis now because by 2032-35 they will need replacing anyway. So i am not looking to buy hydrogen ready boilers at the moment.

Freda Blogs

11:43 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

You could not make up this madness!

Landlords will have to pay £000s for improvements which generate tiny utility cost savings (but maybe climate emission improvements), yet generally speaking it is tenants who pay the utilities and enjoy whatever costs savings are generated. No return for landlords, just net cost.

Yet another reason to exit the PRS - yet we have a housing crisis. How lacking in joined-up thinking can the government get?

moneymanager

11:51 AM, 17th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

I'd bet that no finance to build to let to manage development will have this problem, more pip squeezing?

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