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Almost one in ten homes could become unrentable by 2018

Nearly one in ten properties currently available on the rental market could become unrentable by 2018 if government plans for new legislation go ahead, according to fresh data released by Quick Move Now.

The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations, passed in March 2015, set out minimum energy efficiency standards for England and Wales. These regulations make it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018, unless the property is registered as an exemption.

With the data revealing that around 8% of homes available on the rental property market currently fall below the minimum energy efficiency requirements proposed, careful planning and preparation will clearly be required to mitigate the potential impact of the new regulation, meaning that it is important that buy-to-let landlords with below E rated properties take action now if they wish to avoid legal headaches in the not too distant future.

Danny Luke, Quick Move Now's managing director, commented: “According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [RICS], the number of UK households renting property rose from 2.3 million in 2001 to 5.4 million in 2014. RICS predicts that this figure will rises again by a further 1.8 million before 2025 and suggest that the UK is facing a critical shortage of rental properties.

“It is, of course, imperative that properties available in the private rental sector are of a high standard and energy efficient, however losing around 8% of rental properties would cripple the rental market.  It is commendable that the government is keen to improve the quality of rental property, but for the proposed new legislation to be workable, a great deal of thought will need to go into how landlords can be supported to make the necessary changes. This is especially true in light of the government's decision to stop funding Green Deal improvements.

“Recent changes to tax relief, stamp duty and lettings fees guidelines mean many landlords are already concerned about the viability of their businesses and there have been reports of as many as one in four considering selling their rental properties. If significant energy efficiency improvement work is likely to be required, landlords will need support if we want to ensure a vibrant and efficient private rental market in the coming years.”