Shawbrook is encouraging new landlords to improve the energy efficiency ratings of their properties by offering discounts on homes with high ratings.
New buy-to-let customers are being offered a discount of up to 0.60% on their arrangement fee for homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, B or C.
This can represent a substantial discount, as a £250k mortgage a customer could expect to save up to £1,500 on the arrangement fee.
Emma Cox, managing director of real estate at Shawbrook, said: “We are committed to helping landlords become more energy efficient and actively contributing to a greener future. This product enhancement not only incentivises landlords to improve the energy efficiency rating of their property, but it also actively rewards customers when a property already has a high energy efficiency rating.
“By showing proactivity now, landlords will be in a strong position for the future and one step ahead of the upcoming changes to EPC regulation, which have been proposed for 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for outstanding tenancies.
“From the EPC research we conducted earlier in the year and the roundtable we hosted with leading industry figures, we have been able to understand just how significant these policy changes could be for the market. We’ve listened to landlords and brokers to identify what is needed and where we can make a real difference. This product enhancement is just the first in a long line of developments and innovations we will be making to continue supporting landlords.”
For new mortgages on properties where the EPC rating improves to at least a ‘C’ during the mortgage term, customers can apply for a partial refund of their arrangement fee, plus the cost of the new certificate (up to £100).
Where customers wish to purchase an investment property, but it is EPC rated D or below, the customer can use one of Shawbrook’s unregulated bridging products to improve the energy efficiency of the property, before transitioning to a Shawbrook buy-to-let mortgage. If the property is improved to a minimum EPC rating of ‘C’ then the customer will benefit from the Energy Efficiency Discount.
The government is lobbying mortgage lenders to do their bit to improve the state of the UK’s rental stock, as the authorities plan to make it so new tenancies require an EPC rating above C by 2025, while this will apply to existing tenancies from 2028.
Currently, the median EPC rating for a residential property in England and Wales is a ‘D’, with properties only required to be above an ‘E’ rating in order to be let.
Research conducted by Shawbrook as part of its Confronting the EPC Challenge whitepaper, earlier in the year, found that close to a quarter (23%) of landlords said their properties are currently rated D or below for energy efficiency. In terms of income, landlords believed they could lose up to £9.5k a year in missed rental payments if they are unable to make changes ahead of the 2025 deadline. Landlords are currently expecting the improvements to cost in the region of £5,900.