A prominent lettings agency chief says tenants are becoming more eco-conscious, putting increased emphasis on landlords to meet expectations.
Mike Cook - director of lettings at Leaders Romans Group - says as far back as 2010, surveys suggested investors believed green buildings would become more valuable in years to come.
“So it’s now time for buy to let property owners to take a closer look at future-proofing their homes and investments for years to come” urges Cook.
The UK government is looking to cut emissions across the country by 68 per cent by 2030 and has made it clear the rental sector must contribute; meanwhile the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has ruled that from April 2025 all rental homes must have an EPC of band C or above.
Cook urges landlord to take advantage of the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme but acknowledges that it has major problems - some 95 per cent of the initial funding has been unspent because of hitches in paying grants and installers.
He says: “This mixed messaging from the Government risks hampering the progress made by the lettings sector. Instead, funding should be encouraged and promoted more to landlords to increase awareness and uptake for those who may not have been aware of the support, and the importance of going green further emphasised.”
Cook continues: “Outside of government support, landlords can also benefit from Green reward mortgages. Supported by Foundation Home Loans these are available for private rental sector properties that already have an EPC rating of C or above.”
He adds: “The loan has been designed to support those landlords who have made environmentally-friendly choices with their properties and helps offset the costs of the improvements. Additionally, landlords who use the scheme will benefit from an ‘early re-mortgage’ basis, and won’t have to wait the usual six months before re-mortgaging an improved property to the lender.”
By taking on greener changes across a property - even small factors like pointing out recycling times to tenants - landlords will make themselves and their properties more appealing, especially if they mean that a better EPC rating means lower energy bills.
Cook concludes: “There is a growing focus on green homes across the country. We know more tenants are seeking energy-efficient homes and the benefits they bring, such as an improved quality of living, a potential reduction in fuel bills and the sense that you are doing your bit for the planet. Now is the time for the lettings sector to embrace the next big challenge and step up to help turn the industry green.”