It’s being reported in the mainstream press that the government may give landlords an extra year to make rental homes more energy efficient.
This would shift the deadline for rental property EPCs to be a minimum of band C from 2025 to 2026 for new lets. The planned deadline for existing lets to be upgraded will stay at 2028.
In both cases, it’s still proposed that landlords who fail to meet the deadline will be fined up to £30,000.
Lettings agency Hamptons says half of the rental properties in England are likely to require upgrading. But up to now landlords have not been told what assistance, if any, will be available for their improvements; indeed, even the extension of the year appears to have been leaked to the Daily Telegraph but not so far announced officially.
David Whittaker, chief executive of specialist buy to let landlord Keystone Property Finance says: “Landlords don’t need more time to make their homes more energy efficient; they need more financial help from the government.
“The cost of upgrading even a home from an EPC band D to a C can cost anything north of £6,000 – a substantial amount of money for most people at the current time. For those landlords who worked hard to get their properties to an EPC of E back in 2018 the costs can be several times greater.
“People often wrongly assume that landlords are swimming in cash, but the reality is that most are normal people, on modest incomes who have a few properties to bulk up their pension.
“Therefore, giving them an extra year to upgrade the EPC rating of their properties will be of little use when the government remains strangely silent on the replacement to the Green Homes Grant, which was withdrawn this March with only a vague promise of something new in April 2022.”
The government’s formal consultation on EPC upgrades - which included the original 2025 deadline and a recommended £10,000 cap on upgrade costs - closed back in January this year.
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