Landlords are to wait many more months to find out the details of Government proposals to raise the minimum Energy Performance Certificate for rented properties.
Energy minister Andrew Bowie (main picture) has admitted during a Lords debate that progress has been slow after the launch of the Government’s consultation in September 2020 on his Government’s proposals to require all rented properties to reach the new minimum standard.
This is expected to be a ‘C’ rating with a cut-off date for compliance in 2028, and a cost cap of approximately £10,000 for landlords, with exemptions.
£10,000 is the figure over which Ministers may decide landlords can apply for an exemption because the expense would make rental properties uneconomic to upgrade.
Bailey revealed that only a summary of responses to the consultation is due this year, indicating that new regulations are a long way off – meaning if legislation lands next year, it will have taken the Government four years to act.
Justifying the delay, Bailey said: “We are continuing to refine the policy design to ensure that the costs and circumstances relating to energy efficiency improvements are fair and proportionate for landlords and tenants.
“The economic headwinds that have been buffeting us, and the changing circumstances in the private rented sector in particular, have made it difficult at the minute, but as I said, we will be publishing our response — a summary of responses, anyway — this year.”
His comments came during a debate in the Lords during which the shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead attempted to force the Government’s hand by introducing two clauses into the ongoing Energy Bill, introducing into it many of the consultation’s key proposals – but these were not voted through.
But the debate highlighted many of the challenges that landlords will face once the proposals become law for the PRS, including regular and mandatory inspections by councils to police the new EPC rules, fines of up to £15,000 for non-compliance but also exemptions such as properties within Conservation Areas.