Details on higher EPC ratings for PRS a long way off, admits energy minister

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andrew bailey

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.

Summary

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.”

Energy Bill

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.

Read the consultation.

6 COMMENTS

  1. If it’s going to be £10k per property, or anywhere near that, will the courts speed up evictions?

    All my D properties will be sold off one per year so I’d like the tenants out within two months so I don’t get that punitive fine.

    Do I have to pay the fine if the tenants refuse to move out?

    • Why wait for one per year? TheCGT allowance is now so low it’s not worth having. Do not bother waiting get out asap.

  2. Maybe the delay is partly due to the penny finally dropping that if the government make renting property unprofitable no-one will do it , and then where will all these tenants live?

  3. The lack of information is almost as bad as the bill being proposed! You can’t do anything with property quickly, so with this sword of Damocles hanging over us we have to plan for the worst while hoping for the best. I am selling properties that won’t meet EPC C JUST IN CASE this bill comes in! The damage is already done! The effect on the housing market will be devastating – LLs selling up in droves alongside the current mortgage rates will cause a house price fall, leaving many owner occupiers who bought recently with properties they are unable to remortgage because of reduced LTV, resulting in more houses being sold, prices falling more & more people looking to rent with fewer properties available, precipitating a huge rise in homelessness. I cannot imagine a worse scenario if I try!

  4. £10,000 cap for £1m+ properties and also for £120K properties? Why not a sliding scale?
    Why is the focus on spend and not energy saving measures? If a property is insulated, draftproofing, has triple glazing and a functional heating system, that should be sufficient.

  5. I’ve a great idea for Mr Bowie: Recognise this is a really stupid, damaging and extremely unfair attack on landlords and that it is crippling the private rental sector and do the right thing rather than what looks good to the left wing extremist lobby groups. Align private rental EPC constraints with the owner occupier market. It’s only right and proper, and it will give much needed assurance to nervous landlords thinking of leaving the market.

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