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 2 years 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


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11:56 AM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 17/02/2021 - 11:09
Some years ago we looked at a large property in rural Aberdeenshire to change to use as a luxury boutique hotel, solid granite walls with an internal panelled surface on thin battens, all of which would have to have been removed even then the challenge of cost of getting anywhere near the Q value made any commercial use a non starter.

Adrian Alderton

12:20 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Agree with all these comments. Hope some of you guys responded to the consultation which in my view has an impractical timescale unless the Gov't is going to put in alot of support funding.
I had an EPC on a standard brick built 1960s semi in Nov. Since owning its had loft and cavity wall insulation, UPVC double glazing, new doors, new combi boiler and gas fire. EPC rating D ! Only 40% of my properties are C or above. However all have comfortable, warm and mostly happy tenants.
Technologies such as photovoltaics, heat pumps and hydrogen boilers need to be mainstream and affordable before applying these 'hopeful' EPC targets.

John Allies

12:32 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Hi Su
I think you are right to be interested in the the governments proposals to increase the minimum energy rating in the private rented sector (PRS) from E to C rating, but as yet not to panic
about it. Hopefully there will be plenty of advanced notice and help for what needs to be done.
In order to help achieve the country's net zero carbon emission target by 2050 the government issued a consultation paper asking for views on increasing the EPC rating on the PRS to a minimum C rating. Like many I responded to this, pointing out that there are a large number properties for a lot of the reasons mentioned above that will not be able to achieve the rating.
The government is going to assess the responses and there will unquestionably be compromises in many areas but there is no doubt that there is a requirement for an increase in the rating it is a question of how much and how it is applied. There will be an exemptions register which will cover properties that are unable to achieve the required rating after spending a certain amount on improvements, which at the moment is capped at £3,500 including vat but will be increased, this could go up as high as £10,000 including vat.
My personal feeling is that the methodology used to calculate to EPC rating needs to be changed. I have always felt it an anomaly that the rating is based not so much on the environmental impact of the property but the cost of the fuel to run it. The government is giving grants for households to change to low carbon fuels, Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and yet rating them below mains gas boilers.
There are currently grants available to improve energy performance in your properties. The Green Homes Grant will fund at least two thirds of the cost up to a contribution of £5,000 and the RHI is available to help fund the installation of heat pumps or bio mass boilers. The Green Deal is still available but not funded by government.
I am hoping that the results of the consultation will be out by July and I look forward to it with interest.

Denise G

12:35 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Adrian Alderton at 17/02/2021 - 12:20
I did respond - but in my experience working for local councils, 'out for consultation' actually means 'Job done and we're just paying lip service to you suckers having a say in any decisions we've already made', so I'm not holding out much hope that anything I had to say will make an 'apputh of difference

Susan Bradley

13:02 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

I have 16 properties in the Leeds area old and modern with EPCs ranging from D to B. All have got roof insulation, double glazing and newish boilers. 7 have got solar panels where the roof is suitable and points the right way. Went to a landlords meeting arranged by Leeds council in November 2019 where they said they want all PRS sector housing to be in band A by 2035. They expect costs per property to be approximately £40k. They said this needs to be done as it is “the right thing to do”. Properties in my portfolio vary in value between £85k and £200k. I despair!

Geoff Cunningham

13:11 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

SAP, or Standard Assessment Procedure, is the Government method for setting the energy performance standards for new build properties. It is not an ambitious standard and is certainly not the best available. EPCs use RDSAP, which stands for Reduced Data SAP , because much of what the surveyor uses has to be assumed from the SAP standard which prevailed at the time of construction. It is a poor attempt to estimate how near the dwelling is to a poor standard.
To bring an existing building up to the near zero carbon standard which government has committed us to cannot be done easily or economically. If we are going to hit our emissions targets then public money will need to be spent. Think of a large program of works with a budget of £30k to £40k per house and 20 million houses! The good news is that the exchequer gets much of that back over say 30 years as the savings on capital spending on power provision, Vat and income tax receipts from the army of new jobs created, savings for the NHS, the boost to spending as power bills are reduced etc. etc.
Parliament is stuffed with lawyers etc but few who are the least bit interested in building. We use so much because our homes are built to outdated regulations but politicians think the way to reduce fuel bills is cheap fuel. The cheapest fuel is the fuel you don't use. Fix the fabric of the buildings first and the need for Heat Pumps (which lose their competitive advantage when the temperature outside drops) and Hydrogen boilers (which use more expensive fuel with Nox emission issues) disappears.
Not much practical help for landlords in the here and now but the direction we need to push is for better building because the problem is squarely in the lap of the government who preside over a broken system.


13:16 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Susan Bradley at 17/02/2021 - 13:02
Hi Susan

Are you a member of the Leeds landlords unite group ? We formed in 2019 to take on the selective licensing issues in Beeston and Harehills.

This is big news to me regarding what the council have said. Achieving an A grade is going to be impossible for the standard housing stock. Most people would be bust. If A grade is applied to the rented stock the residential stock must also be upgraded to C at the minimum. It cannot be one rule for one and another rule for the rest.

Did anyone challenge them on this statement. Who actually said it ?


13:19 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Geoff Cunningham at 17/02/2021 - 13:11
This is happening. Better building is here and certainly coming.

The elephant in the room is the current housing stock. This is the big worry for LL's

Susan Bradley

13:22 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 17/02/2021 - 13:16
Hi John. Sorry I can’t remember any names but it was someone from the council. There was very little response really I’m not sure if everyone was in shock!


13:26 PM, 17th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Susan Bradley at 17/02/2021 - 13:22
Are you in the group Susan which has formed in Leeds? Its a Whats app group and very useful for people to talk issues over, recommend trades etc.

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