Prime Minister has ‘betrayed landlords’ by ditching EPC upgrade scheme rules

14
2061
lettingaproperty daines

Many landlords have spent thousands of pounds on energy efficient upgrades in readiness to meet regulations that have now been ditched by Rishi Sunak.

lettingaproperty.com reports that while some increased loft insulation and upgraded eclectics in their rental properties, others went further by replacing gas boilers, installing air source heat pumps, and even adding solar panels.

The government had planned to introduce energy efficiency targets of an EPC band C for private landlords in England and Wales, by 2028.

The rental platform’s founder and CEO, Jonathan Daines (main picture), says that while welcome news for some, the government’s U-turn is frustrating for its landlord clients, many of whom had already taken steps to do the right thing in preparation for change.

“With the planned EPC changes looming, many landlords in our community proactively improved the energy efficiency of their properties,” he adds. “They incurred significant costs and practical hassles, to make energy efficiency upgrades in line with proposed EPC minimums.”

Regulations

However, Daines tells LandlordZONE that although it obviously spurred many landlords into action, he doesn’t believe many acted solely to comply with regulations.

“We work with many responsible and ethical landlords, who are also committed to providing the best accommodation standard they can, to encourage tenant loyalty and long-term letting,” he says.

And Daines doesn’t believe any upgrades will directly impact rents. “In many cases, accommodation has been improved, not just in terms of energy efficiency but also liveability and comfort for tenants. We advise our landlords if we believe changes to the property or market conditions warrant an increase but ultimately, it’s their decision.”

He believes it’s imperative that policymakers provide clarity and consistency in their approach to rental property regulations.

“The government’s wavering stance has ultimately betrayed landlords and tenants, while negatively impacting businesses who rely on a stable and thriving rental market.”

Read more: Ultimate guide to having an eco friendly property.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I completely disagree with this article. The EPC grading and assessments aren’t fit for purpose so there was no point in spending thousands upgrading until a final decision was made by the government.

    Many landlords, myself included, were waiting to see if this new requirement was actually going to be enforced before delivering Section 21s to sell up and invest elsewhere, there being no point in spending up to £10k per property where the tenant would have to be evicted anyway because the upgrades would be too disruptive and the financial outlay too high.

    The government has made the right decision both for landlords who would be forced to sell up and for tenants who would have nowhere to live.

    • Spot on. Anyone who went early was taking a risk, however the money is probably not wasted as these rules will come back again at some point – maybe quite soon under a Labour Govt!

  2. The same way as Sunak has realised EPC’s weren’t fit for purpose we can only hope GOVE realises the same with Renter’s Reform Bill and especially with Landlord’s Register. We all know there are Dodgy Landlord’s and Dodgy Tenants but this isn’t the way to deal with them. Punitive measures will affect ALL the good landlords and any expenses will be passed on to Tenants.

  3. I completely AGREE with this article. It’s the energy wasteful PRS houses and flats that 8 million families live in fuel poverty in that are not fit-for-purpose. I’m a chartered surveyor, commerical landlord and residential landlord and all of the EPCs I’ve procured over the years have been accurate, meaningful and have helped guide my steady investment decisions over the years.

    • The point is that it would cost landlords up to £10k for each property which is not financially viable if the property is only worth £80-100k which is the case for many up north. So the best option for many landlords is to sell up and invest elsewhere. If the 8 million families are living in not-fit- for purpose don’t like where they live they can vote with their feet and move to somewhere else can’t they? Well, no they can’t because there aren’t the properties for them to move to, and there would have been even fewer properties to let if the EPC upgrades were forced on landlords.

      Whilst your EPCs might be accurate and meaningful, such assessments arei of little use to landlords who can’t afford/don’t want to spend on upgrading.

      I had my own house EPC graded to see if I was eligible for free solar panels etc and the EPC assessor told me not to worry he’d make sure my EPC was low enough to be awarded the free upgrades. I thought my house might be a C but he gave me an E.

    • Rubbish – The cost to upgrade from a D to a C can cost thousands yet save less than a hundred quid a year in energy costs. Most tanants will pay an alwful lot more in rent offsetting the cost to the landlord than they will ever spend on aditional heating.

    • Gibbons – you must be the only person in the UK that thinks EPCs are anything but flawed, inconsistent & a waste of time & money.

  4. Landlords who “jumped the gun” can only blame themselves.

    We all knew there was a lot more detail needed for the EPC-C legislation – and many openly stated they didn’t think it was going to happen

    We were told the EPC algorithms were to be changed – again, stupidity to make “improvements” before then.

    • I agree. This was never a policy only a possibility. If there are winners and losers, why should those who were cautious be forced to do this work simply because some jumped the gun? The alternative is we all end up getting penalised by this arbitrary diktat. Though Miliband has said he will reinstate this target, so if you do feel hard done by because you did the work and others got off, then vote Labour to spite us!

  5. One other point – there seems to be this narrative adopted by those pressing for upgrades that those who provide properties with anything less than a C are some kind of slum lord. Eg in the article about the suggestion is that those who did do the upgrades “did the right thing”, and how they work with “responsible and ethical landlords” and how such landlords improve “livability and comfort for tenants”. Presumably we are meant to infer that those who did not upgrade are in some way unethical offering sub-standard accommodation. The truth is the difference between a D and a C is around £80 a year in savings and in terms of comfort it is hardly noticeable. Most of my rentals are D and my home is a D. I live in comfort and don’t spend a fortune on heating etc. It’s simply a narrative spun by those with either a political agenda or other vested interest.

    • Absolutely correct. The grade is much more a reflection of the age & construction of a property & many EPC D properties are perfectly lovely Victorian Terraces. We should be focussing on getting ALL housing off the very lowest levels, E,F & G up to a better standard, but the current EPC algorithm is not the tool to use!

  6. It’s about time they stopped attacking Private tenants. Why is their life and finances worth any less than Council tenants and homeowners? Private tenants have really suffered over the last 8 years with all the Anti Landlord attacks.
    All my houses have got new boilers, UPVC, new kitchen etc. And I’ve got many EPC D’s and some E’s.
    Give tenants choice of £1000pm rent for New build standards to save £20pm gas or £700 rent for EPC D and we know what they want-Problem is Govt and Councils never come ask mine or your tenants what they want.

  7. Feeling betrayed suggests these people didn’t believe in the benefits of what they were doing, misery loves company because not everyone else is joining them. Really this is a tale of what over-regulation, or the threat of it, does to a market. When arbitrary investment is necessitated by the state, both supplier and customer end up more disenfranchised from the business. The daily propaganda campaign on this has almost rivalled that of a novel pandemic, yet the machine keeps turning, and telling us that we should be angry if we don’t get even more regulation.

  8. What a silly article, the truth is Rishi did the right thing, and saved us landlords from even more unuseful legislation. This is one move by this government that gives me hope for us Landlords.
    I think the government is beginning to realise that this country needs landlords, and that too much landlord bashing will mean exodus from the PRS.

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