Landlords respond to green energy push by making changes

Investors are taking notice of the green energy push happening in the UK, with more looking to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of their properties.

Some 22% of portfolio landlords have made efforts to improve the green credentials of their homes, according to findings from Shawbrook’s Changing Face of Buy to Let Report.

Of those that had undertaken a refurbishment, 22% had replaced the boiler and heating system in their property, a further 23% replaced the windows, and 18% installed new white goods.

From 2025 landlords cannot rent out their property with an EPC rating of C or above – currently the minimum is an E rating.

There are close to 13 million homes in England and Wales currently with an EPC rating of D or below, data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows.

John Eastgate, managing director, property finance at Shawbrook Bank, said: “For many property owners in the UK, getting their property to a C rating is going to take a lot more than simply installing a new boiler. The reality is that for older properties – some of which may be listed- it will be an expensive exercise to make the necessary changes.

“It’s welcome news that landlords are already acting ahead of the rule change in 2025 and it’s completely right that we should all be considering how to make our properties more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

“Some owners, however, will need support from both lenders, and the government, to make these changes financially possible. Without this, we risk a substantial part of the private rental sector becoming unrentable and therefore unmortgageable and unsellable in 2025.

“With home ownership still out of reach for many this could leave us with a shortage of quality homes to rent. More needs to be done to help property owners with these changes and at Shawbrook we are working behind the scenes to look at how we can be a part of providing that support.”

Making properties more energy efficient can boost demand from tenants, as one in 10 private renters said that they would stay in their current property longer if their landlord made changes to the property which benefit the environment.

Tenants were also happy to pay more in rent should landlords make certain changes to their property, as 18% of tenants said they’d pay more if windows were replaced, 15% would pay more for a new boiler and heating system, and 10% suggested that installing solar panels would justify paying more rent.

Landlords who own older properties, which are typically less energy efficient, will find it harder to improve the rating.

As a result, by 2025 some properties could be ‘unrentable’ and ‘unsellable’.

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