Landlords demand help to improve EPC ratings

More than a third (37%) of landlords are demanding help from the government to upgrade the Energy Performance Certificate ratings of their properties.

Under proposed regulations, landlords will have to up EPCs to at least C by 2025 for all new tenancies, and by 2028 for existing tenancies.

Therefore more than a third (37%) want incentives to make changes, such as favourable borrowing rates.

Meanwhile a third called for guidance on timings on how to phase the implementation of changes, while 29% wanted to see signposting to suppliers who could help them make improvements to their properties. The same proportion also wanted to receive guidance on how to manage tenants during the improvement process.

Landlords were interested in speaking with other landlords about the issue, with 21% looking for a shared space to discuss problems and share solutions.

This is according to Shawbrook Bank’s report, Confronting the EPC Challenge.

The bank has established a working group of industry professionals, landlords and policy makers together to find possible shared solutions to the challenge.

Emma Cox, sales director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of properties is a vital step in reducing our impact on the environment, however, this will not necessarily be a straightforward process for landlords. The UK has a significant proportion of older properties that are particularly challenging to improve, and many landlords remain in the dark as to their properties’ current ratings.

“Landlords will require further support from both the industry and the government in order to make the changes in good time. Indeed, with the cost of labour and supplies rising, it could be a costly exercise for all landlords, but there are solutions available.

“It is in everyone’s interest that properties are made more energy efficient, however this cannot be done half-heartedly, and we must ensure sufficient resources are provided so that landlords can make the appropriate changes to benefit their properties and their tenants.

“We hope that our forthcoming working group provides a space for landlords and the wider industry to share ideas and solutions to confront this challenge, and we look forward to sharing the findings in the coming weeks and months.”
Older homes are more likely to have a lower EPC rating and require improvement, as 30% of landlords with Victorian era properties in their portfolio said they were rated D or below.”

A quarter of landlords need to improve EPC ratings

A quarter (23%) of landlords say their properties are currently rated D or below for energy efficiency, below the minimum standards that could be introduced from 2025.

The proportion with homes below D could actually be higher, as more than a quarter (27%) don’t know the EPC rating of their properties.

For landlords with older properties, making these improvements could be a costly exercise.

Two in 10 landlords say they don’t have the necessary funds required to begin refurbishments of their properties.

This is particularly the case with older landlords – those aged over 55, where a quarter said they don’t currently have the funds available to make changes to their properties to bring them in line with the proposed requirements.

Should landlords be unable to make changes to their properties by the deadline they may be unable to rent their properties so could be left with properties that are unmortgageable and therefore unsellable.

This could limit supply in the market, at a time when many are reliant on the Private Rental Sector (PRS).

Many landlords are set to make changes to their properties. The English Housing Survey found that there has not been an increase in energy efficiency among housing stock in the PRS over the last year – despite an increase in housing stock in England overall.

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