Majority of landlords agree with scrapping EPC rules – Landbay

Without the requirement, fewer landlords plan to make changes to make their properties more energy efficient

Majority of landlords agree with scrapping EPC rules – Landbay

Around three in four landlords, or 74%, welcome the government’s decision to scrap the proposal that all rental property must have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of at least ‘C’ by 2028, according to specialist buy-to-let lender Landbay.

Results of the latest Landbay landlord survey also showed that fewer landlords plan to make changes to make their properties more energy efficient if it is not a legal requirement.

More than six in 10 landlords with lower EPC-rated property, or 62%, intend to upgrade to a ‘C’ rating. Previously, before the EPC minimum requirement was scrapped, more landlords (73%) said they intended to bring their properties up to a ‘C’ rating.

Now, a quarter or 25% said they will only make changes if legislation requires them to in the future, while 13% will not do anything.

A couple of months ago, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the scrapping of policies forcing landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), reacting to the decision, said that while it wants to see all properties as energy efficient as possible, the uncertainty surrounding energy efficiency policies has been hugely damaging to the supply of rented homes.

“Landlords are struggling to make investment decisions without a clear idea of the government’s direction of travel,” commented Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive. “It is welcome that landlords will not be required to invest substantial sums of money during a cost-of-living crisis when many are themselves struggling financially.”

The Landbay survey showed that the expense and difficulty of retrofitting older properties is seen as the main barrier by landlords to upgrading property to meet the EPC ‘C’ standard.

Still, around one in four landlords, or 26%, were not in favour of the removal of the EPC minimum requirements, saying they support the need for energy efficient housing as a social and environmental duty.

“We applaud the sentiment around trying to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, but we also need to be realistic,” said Rob Stanton (pictured), business development director at Landbay. “The UK has a vast amount of older housing that is difficult to retrofit and will be expensive.

“Some landlords said they would be encouraged to update their property if there was more government help such as easy accessibility to grants. Over half of rental properties in the UK are ‘D’ rated or lower, so landlords now have some breathing space to plan without a looming deadline.”

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