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 Denise G

11:04 AM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 20/02/2021 - 10:31
But a C is still pretty much unachievable on Victorian terrace property without spending a mint

by Simonyglog

11:35 AM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Here's a great EPC flaw -

I own Victorian terraces. When I upgrade, I add internal wall insulation to the outside faces. Do I get EPC credit? No. Assessor states it cannot be seen.

Same for flat roofs.

Needs major overhaul.

by Gunga Din

11:48 AM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

"Do I get EPC credit? No. Assessor states it cannot be seen..."

Indeed. Do they think we build 5 inch thick stud partitions and leave voids behind them? Despite showing photos taken during the construction I had to drill bore holes so the guy could poke a tape measure in.

I'm not going to rip up laminate flooring to show the insulation between the joists, so that addition was a waste of money......

by John

12:30 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 20/02/2021 - 11:04
Yes its expensive, but it looks like this is what will be expected. We are a small group and can be bullied - simple.

by Esat Karahasan

12:38 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gunga Din at 20/02/2021 - 11:48
It’s not what we think as assessors, it’s the way the software has been built which does not allow us to add such additions as the software works on assumptions based on building regulations at the time of build (which if you’ve had a conversion or extension with planning permission will be the date of the addition for that portion).

To add such changes and improvements the property undergoes an audit at the lodgement stage which requires us to visually prove the existence of the improvement, and take measurements of the depth.

So I’m direct response to your question it’s not just that anyone thinks the cavity has been left empty, which if we were going into every property and having the landlords tell us what they have done most would lie to acheive a higher rating (I’ve seen attempts first hand), it’s just that putting 100mm insulation verses 150mm insulation will have different benefits and therefore rating.

by Gunga Din

12:49 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Esat Karahasan at 20/02/2021 - 12:38
Thanks for the reply Esat, I realise the assessors have to follow procedures, and the procedures themselves are not well thought out. I also accept that there are abuses.

I suppose chopping holes in walls and having a decorator repair the damage isn't too arduous if it only has to be done every ten years!

by Bob S

12:49 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Ah, blaming the system, accusing most LLs of being liars whilst walking away with a £40-100 fee, not being able to take real life improvements that have cost LL money into account whilst hiding behind a veil of professionalism and leaving the LL with an investment time bomb is acceptable ?!

by Jan Martin

13:30 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gunga Din at 20/02/2021 - 12:49
I read the other day that they were saying they were looking at the EPC being renewable every 5 years .Cant remember where I read this but I did.

by Helen

14:04 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

I just heard about this yesterday and it is very worrying. Like the examples above only one of my 7 Victorian properties is a C. I also have a block with no gas but high grade modern electric heaters. It is a warm flat as there are concrete floors and flats above and below it so the heating barely has to be used. This is another crazy policy which has not been thought through..

Most Victorian properties will not comply. As a guess, perhaps half the housing stock in the UK.. So we will sell up and the tenants will be homeless...Is this the result the government is seeking? I have also heard murmurings that Mortgage Lenders are being asked to check EPC ratings before lending, though they are resisting this. So, nobody can get a mortgage on a property either, landlords or otherwise. Government Housing policy has been short sighted for years but this just caps it in stupidity and short sightedness.

by David Price

14:11 PM, 20th February 2021, About 8 months ago

There are non-invasive methods of checking the insulation, the assessors just don’t use them or perhaps are not allowed to use them. Drilling a hole to check the insulation only checks at a point not the whole wall. Perhaps we should be required to strip all the plasterboard off to ensure that the wall is insulated over its entirety!
I have 70 photographs of a large flat roof being insulated complete with specifications of all the materials used, invoices for the work and still the insulation was "assumed not to be present". Photgraphs taken at the time the roof was insulated were rejected because they were more than 3 months old. The lack of black mould on the underside of the concrete roof should have been an indication in itself that the top was insulated! I argued for six months and eventually won my case because I was not prepared to compromise the roof covering to prove visually that the roof was insulated.


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