0:03 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago 30
Most UK landlords had already prepared for the government’s planned energy performance certificate (EPC) legislation, which was scrapped last week by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The legislation would have required landlords to ensure their rental properties had a minimum EPC rating of C.
The mooted deadline was 2025 for new tenancies, and by 2028 for all tenancies.
Now, a study by Shawbrook Bank using its internal data has found that 80% of landlords said they were already prepared for the 2025 EPC deadline.
Of these, 30% said their rental properties already had an EPC rating of A-C, while 50% said they had plans in place to improve their EPC rating before 2025.
Emma Cox, the managing director of real estate at Shawbrook Bank, said: “Scrapping the impending EPC regulations might free up capital in the short term for landlords who haven’t yet invested in improving the energy rating of their properties.
“But while policies shift, climate change is going nowhere, and energy efficient buildings will remain central to Net Zero plans.”
She added: “Rules might not be changing as soon as 2025, but professional landlords with modern, energy efficient stock will be in the best position to attract tenants, as well as reduce potential voids, and importantly, be prepared for future legislative change.”
The study also found that 17% of landlords said they were not prepared and had no plans to improve their EPC rating, while 3% said they had not heard of the regulation.
And nearly half (46%) of landlords had spent between £500 and £20,000 on improving or investing in their property in the last year, with the average amount being £25,148.
This figure rose to £37,164 for London-based landlords.
A fifth (20%) of landlords said that the cost of labour for property improvements was a key concern for them over the next six months, while 16% said EPC regulations were a concern.
The study also showed that the proposed regulations had influenced many landlords to be more energy conscious when buying new properties, with 28% prioritising newer, more energy efficient properties in the next six months.
And when landlords were asked about their views on previous rumours of the initial EPC deadline being moved to 2028, the study found that 31% of landlords said it would give them more breathing space to complete improvements across their portfolio, while 29% said they would progress with their improvement plans regardless.
The study comes at a time when landlords are facing lower profits than ever before, due to tax changes, rising costs and regulatory pressures.
According to the National Residential Landlords Association, landlord profits are at their lowest level in 16 years.
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