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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Plea to ensure landlords’ energy work is future-proofed

A trade body has told MPs the government must ensure work done to make homes energy efficient is ‘future-proofed’ to accept up-coming changes.

The government’s Environmental Audit Committee has heard evidence from the National Residential Landlords Association as part of its investigation into the energy efficiency of homes in the UK.

Regulation changes mean that all rental properties - other than those with agreed exemptions - must have an EPC rating of E or higher to be legally let in the private rental sector. 

From 2025 this is being raised to EPC rating C for new tenancies, and 2028 for a C rating minimum for all tenancies.

The NRLA says committee chair Philip Dunne MP said he wanted to know more about the scale of the challenges across all tenures.

Currently 19m homes are rated below C, including an estimated 10m homes in the private rental sector. 

NRLA local authority policy officer Gavin Dick told the committee of MPs that landlords must be confident any work done will be compatible with the future change to zero carbon homes. 

He also said the government should give guidance so people know the correct order to do works and what the correct works were.

 

 

When asked about the potential cost to landlords, he told the committee that while costs would be likely to fall under the £10,000 mark for most landlords for some, especially those with older homes, it would be significantly higher. 

Dick warned MPs that landlords could sell up if the cost of improvements is disproportionate to the value of the property and flagged issues that can arise when it comes to making improvements to properties with sitting tenants.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Rents and property are still very much overpriced, with many people paying mortgages and rents that they can no longer afford while numerous properties stand vacant. The solution, of course, is to cut your losses and stop paying. But then you might soon have to relocate. That is OK, because, as I mentioned, there is no shortage of vacant properties around. Finding a good place to live will become less and less of a problem as people stop paying their rents and mortgages and get foreclosed or evicted, because the number of vacant properties will only increase. The best course of action is to become a property caretaker, legitimately occupying a vacant property rent-free, and keeping an eye on things for the owner. What if you can't find a position as a property caretaker? Well, then you might have to become a squatter, maintain a list of other vacant properties that you can go to next, and keep your camping gear handy just in case. If you do get tossed out, chances are, the people who tossed you out will then think about hiring a property caretaker, to keep the squatters out. And what do you do if you become property caretaker? Well, you take care of the property, but you also look out for all the squatters, because they are the reason you have a legitimate place to live. A squatter in hand is worth three absentee landlords in the bush. The absentee landlord might eventually cut his losses and go away, but your squatter friends will remain as your neighbors. Having some neighbors is so much better than living in a ghost town.

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    Change the record!

    This has nothing to do with the title of the article!

     
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    Not really a plan of action for the majority is it?

     
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    If we are to bring our properties up to an EPC C can we please have an energy assessment that is not fatally flawed?
    Gas - high score on EPC but Govt banning GCH from new builds in 2025 - how is this consistent?
    Storage Heaters - score better than intelligent electric heaters yet are inflexible and cause all your other appliances (and any boost to heating) to be charged at higher rate
    Modern electric radiators - efficient and controllable, can be powered by renewables yet slated by the EPC
    Assumptions made about construction and insulation based on age of property regardless of whether it is in fact correct.
    Recommendation inappropriate and not cost effective - solar installations on north facing roofs, £10k to do external insulation taking 30 yrs to get back in rent

    Older properties will be dumped into the owner occupier sector, where no improvements will be made, whilst LLs snap up modern boxes with GCH and charge more because they can! And overall, no improvements to the energy efficiency of the housing stock.

    Sheer Muppetry!!

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    • 08 November 2020 20:04 PM

    Yep I've been saying for years that LL need to offload these dud rental properties to dopey FTB.

    The imperative to do this is even more urgent now.

    If a LL is after yield then the costs of EPC C status make a property unviable for at least 10 years.

    As suggested far better to have a new build which is instantly lettable as most are already EPC C status.

    Many LL will start considering the instant positive yield capacity of new-build properties.

    Admittedly most new-build properties are crap but they are instantly lettable.
    This is what a LL ideally needs.

    For many LL it would make eminent business sense to offload
    the dud properties.
    I think there are about 600000 of these.
    Where the homeless tenants will go is IRRELEVANT.
    Not the LL fault that they are effectively being forced to sell up.


     
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    It is nigh impossible to achieve 'C' status on some older properties without spending money that you would be unlikely to recoup.
    I am 65 next year and therefore it would be impossible for me to get my money back.
    Even some of my newer properties have been rated 'D', it is a ridiculous situation.
    Some of the older properties are above commercial businesses, so I would have to take a massive 'hit' in income if I had to let the maisonettes above remain empty.

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    • 10 November 2020 09:45 AM

    Yep you are in deep doo doo.

    See if you can sell these dud properties to clueless FTB.

    Otherwise in 4 years time you will be stuck with unlettable properties.

    As you suggest even newer properties only achieve D status.

    What I know many LL have suggested is to have EPC done again.

    Apparently their have been some adjustments as to how the calculations are made.
    So you could find some squeeze into C status.
    If not then I doubt it is worthwhile retaining the properties which will be unlettable soon.
    I'm afraid the days of your previous yields are over.
    The goalposts have moved and considerable investment which you are unlikely to get back in your lifetime will be required just to keep things as they are.

    Given your position I'd have new EPC and if C status can't be achieved relatively easily then get shot of those properties.

    Yours is a problem faced by many LL but perhaps you are one that has woken up to the dilemma.

    Just imagine what is going to happen to LL in 2025 with new occupants!

    They will be stuffed.

    Perhaps start looking at some appropriate new build that you can invest in which are future proofed as far as EPC are concerned.

    Selling off properties will incur costs like CGT but you don't have much choice.

    Just for your own peace of mind remembering that you will be 5 years older in 2025 do you want the hassle of unlettable properties.

    I guess you need to find out the monies that are available to sort out C status.
    As you have intimated it probably won't be worth it.

    So you need to get your skates on and find out what all the possibilities.
    Whatever happens you will lose savings or income

    If I was you I'd get rid of the ostensibly dud properties.

    But look at it this way at least you are now aware of your dilemma.
    Many LL aren't.

    I suggest you have a narrow window to sell before buyers wise up and start demanding big discounts on prices.

    I doubt you will have many LL queuing up to buy your properties.

    Try selling the shops below first.

    These MEES requirements are going to devastate tenants and LL alike.
    Having to achieve EPC C status is as you suggest ridiculous.
    Just isn't worth it.

    Of course if a FTB etc buys they will only be able to sell into the OO market as not many LL will wish ti invest in anything sub C status.

     
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    Well John I have several properties that won't make the 'C' status, they all owe me peanuts, mainly purchased in the 90s, I will be 68 next year, so if I cannot rent them after 2025 I will put them in auction and take what ever I get for them, after all at that point in time I will be 72 so likely won't want the bother of them then.

     
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