Two-thirds of landlords will sell up to avoid the burden of improving EPCs

Two-thirds of landlords will sell up to avoid the burden of improving EPCs

8:03 AM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago 29

Text Size

Nearly two-thirds of landlords say they would sell their properties in the next five years because of the burden of meeting stricter EPC requirements, research has revealed.

The findings from Shawbrook also show that the rising cost of living is driving tenants towards energy-efficient homes in the UK’s private rented sector.

Shawbrook says that nearly three-in-five (58%) of renters say they would be less likely to consider a property with an energy rating of D or below.

And that has, the bank claims, led to more than half (54%) of landlords making efficiency improvements in the last six months.

They also found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of landlords have brought forward upgrades because of sharp inflationary pressures.

Improve energy efficiency in the rented sector

The findings – drawing on views from tenants, landlords and mortgage brokers – are part of Shawbrook’s second report on efforts to improve energy efficiency in the rented sector, which continue to be influenced by the government’s proposed changes to energy performance certificate (EPC) requirements.

Although the plans have not yet been put into law, ministers have previously indicated that newly rented properties in England and Wales will have to meet a minimum EPC standard of C by April 2025 – tougher than the current E standard. The measure could also apply to existing tenancies from 2028.

However, despite the possible regulatory changes, Shawbrook’s research shows that a significant knowledge gap remains.

78% of landlords say they have heard about the 2025 proposals

While eight-in-ten (78%) landlords say they have now heard about the 2025 proposals, more than a third know only ‘a bit’ about the plans.

Three-quarters (75%) of mortgage brokers are concerned their buy-to-let clients don’t know enough.

Which is leading to concerns that many landlords could exit the market, with significant effects on the availability of properties.

And nearly two-in-five brokers with buy-to-let clients have seen them exit the market rather than make energy efficiency improvements.

‘Many landlords are facing a difficult time’

Emma Cox, the managing director of real estate at Shawbrook, said: “We know that many landlords are facing a difficult time because of the economic headwinds in the UK.

“It is therefore important that the sector provides all the support possible to help them meet sustainability goals and be ready for future regulatory changes.”

She added: “As well as the need for clarity from the government about its plans, the industry has a significant role to play in supporting landlords.

“Only by working together can we safeguard the future of the private rented sector.”

‘Efficiency of our housing stock needs to improve’

Chris Norris, the policy director at the National Residential Landlords’ Association, said: “The efficiency of our housing stock needs to improve but the challenge for the private rented sector is two-fold.

“On the one hand, there is the matter of the split incentive, where landlords are necessarily required to pay for the works but see little or none of the benefit.

“On the other, there is the net cost of the works required, which is substantial to say the least.”

He added: “The investment required in our housing stock represents a potential burden for many landlords that they are highly unlikely to be able to shoulder alone, without significant changes to the tax system and some form of financial assistance along the way.”

Share This Article


Hamish McBloggs

12:31 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by ficodindia at 14/10/2022 - 12:03
Covid and climate change are real ...

and this here is about EPC's and the consequences for LL's and tenants.

Hang on, global warming = less insulation ...



13:48 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 14/10/2022 - 12:31
that is why the global elite will win... if people believe really covid and climate change are real we have no chance .... EPC is directly related to climate change narrative

Mick Roberts

14:09 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

I've got to start telling tenants soon You can't live here past 2028 anyway, Govt say u can't if EPC not a C. And your rent doesn't pay for a C.
This is after next Aug 2023 when Nottingham Imbecile Council Selective Licensing comes back in & I have to give all tenants a rent increase. I've got one paying £536 when all neighbours paying £850. I'm going to do her to £595 & she will bitch & moan. This is when I will explain the above that she won't even have a home soon. This is our problem, tenants don't write in to Govt to tell them they happy paying £536pm for new boiler, new kitchen, they'd rather pay that & have home that not be able to afford £1000pm & not have a home.

Shawbrook need to come talk to my Benefit tenants cause they don't even know what an EPC is.

Freda Blogs

14:16 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 14/10/2022 - 10:49
Unless you could do all that work with the tenants still in situ, you would have to get them out.

I wonder how that's going to be achieved when we have no S21 or other means of getting vacant possession to enable the work to proceed?

And, by then will we have seen the new EPC algorithm to reflect the items that we need rather than the current one which doesn't - which I believe still actively promotes gas boilers?

Government, as usual, hasn't joined the dots.

dismayed landlord

14:37 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 14/10/2022 - 14:16
I had to give tenants of 19 years an option. Stay and I work around you or sorry but I have no option now ( the boiler was old and hot air so no plumber would touch it) plus the electric were not meeting the new regs ( tenant was an electrician and fine with it!) so quite a bit of re wiring. You can move out in your own time but 5 months is when I cannot cover the electric and gas safe requirements. They understood the issues. The moved out of the area. 3 kids snd 6 grandchildren now 50 miles away. I would have worked around them to keep them. It really was their call. Tears were shed. We still keep in touch, he had a heart attack 1 year after moving. And all because I feared the incoming EPC regulation. New boiler new wiring insulation everywhere. New flooring. New bathroom. Yes it required a lot of work to bring it up to standard of today. Achieved a D rating after the work. Lol total joke . But the rent was low. They were happy. I was happy with them. I have sold 12 now. 2 in the process if the go through . The rest will go as I can get them out. Would like to do it as they give notice but there is no where to move to. So I will have to serve the no fault eviction ( section 21) for the government lack of understanding of the real world. Lose rent as no doubt (and quite rightly) the refuse to pay anymore( why would anyone if they bring evicted anyway!! Waste of money, council will rehouse when bailiffs turn up. The RPS is becoming a disaster.

Hamish McBloggs

14:41 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 14/10/2022 - 14:16
Sadly I have issued a s21.

In mitigation, it was by mutual consent after significant discussion.

Hamish McBloggs

14:57 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by ficodindia at 14/10/2022 - 13:48
Is this a wind up?

Dylan Morris

16:27 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 14/10/2022 - 11:09Wickes 200mm loft insulation is £30 a roll. Easy to fit yourself. Just topped up a two bed semi needed 5 rolls so that’s £150. Was only 150mm of insulation in situ beforehand, building regs now recommend 300mm. Tenants will probably save £150 off their gas bill in first two months. Tenants really happy I did this for them and cost to me is minimal in the big scheme of things.

Reluctant Landlord

17:21 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 14/10/2022 - 14:09
The only way I can see it is if the tenant themselves signs something to state that they don't want the improvements to take place while they are in situ.

* The government/Gen Rent/Shelter are VERY fond of making out that a rental is the tenants home above the actual owners, so in this case it might work to OUR advantage as LL's.*

All us LL's need to do is explain to our tenants that if the work had to take place to allow us to legally let the property to them as we have to get a C rating, the cost would mean a rent rise of £X to them.

As far as I can establish from the proposals to date, there IS an exemption afforded if the tenant refuses for the work to be done or for entry to the house for such works. (it does not list the level of works) and remember a LL is not obliged to evict a tenant on the basis of refusal of entry 😉

The exemption states that you do have to do the work once that tenant moves out (or after 5 years when this exemption runs out), but is that tenant still going to want to move by then anyway?
If the rest of the rental market does increase all to a C, those rents will be higher so where is your tenant going to afford to live unless they stay where they are?

Those properties that remain under a C will no doubt have exemptions themselves so those tenants will be staying put too (as they to may have refused to agree to works for the very same reason!).

Anyway - we all know how the govt like U turns. I expect a lot more backtracking, waffle and noise before it even comes back on the agenda. By the look of it the whole country is set to implode soon....

Mick Roberts

17:28 PM, 14th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 14/10/2022 - 17:21
Yes, all my tenants have been saying this.
And they've signed stuff to send into Selective Licensing saying We don't want Licensing. Falls on thick Councillor ears who moved departments & then wash their hands of it, then wreck the next department.

This is what Govt should be doing, coming on ground Level & saying Tenant, do u want this? How much rent u paying now? How long u been here? Would u like to stop here another 20 years?

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now