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Massive boost in private rental energy efficiency, new research shows

There’s been a wholesale lifting in standards of investment and quality in the private rental sector thanks to landlords, and in particular there’s been an improve in energy efficiency.

The news comes from a survey of 900 landlords by the Paragon Bank, a specialist buy to let lender, which says the energy performance of the sector has improved with a 272 per cent increase in rented homes with an energy rating of C or above since 2009.

The total at this level is now 1.8m.


In addition to energy efficiency boosts, it’s revealed in the survey that landlords spend an estimated £839m each year upgrading newly purchased rental property before letting it out to tenants, helping to drive-up standards in the sector.

The most common work undertaken is general painting and maintenance (67 per cent), electric or plumbing work (44 per cent), and laying new flooring (37 per cent).  A third of landlords (32 per cent) install a new kitchen or bathroom, with nearly a quarter (24 percent) installing a new boiler or upgrading windows (23 per cent).

Paragon’s new report - called Driving Standards in the Private Rented Sector - highlights how the standard of property in the sector has improved over the past 10 to 15 years.  

Since 2006, the portion of homes in the sector classed as ‘decent’ under government standards has increased from 53.2 to 76.7 per cent. Overall, 3.6m homes are now classed as decent, compared to 1.4m in 2006. Over that same period, 1.4m buy to let mortgages for house purchase have been approved.

Conversely, the number of homes classed as non-decent in the PRS has not reduced significantly, with 1.0m homes categorised as non-decent today compared to 1.21m in 2006. 

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Mortgages Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “Landlords typically will make significant improvements to a property before letting to tenants, helping to improve standards across the private rented sector. Landlords will of course benefit from this investment through capital appreciation, but it always results in better quality homes for tenants.


“There is a clear correlation between buy-to-let investment and improving standards in the quality of private rental homes. Standards of property in the PRS have increased significantly over that period. Overall homes in the sector are newer, larger, warmer and more energy efficient than they were 10 years ago and tenants have more choice.

“Whilst we recognise more needs to be done to improve standards, since 2009 there are nearly three times the number of properties with an energy rating of C or above, a 100% increase in the number of homes built after 1990 and a substantial expansion in the types of property available to rent in the PRS.”

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    Can someone show this report to Shelter please? Clearly we are not all the rogues we are constantly made out to be!


    They see what they want to see. With some easy editing they will be giving half the facts like "A specialist BTL mortgage lender has stated that 1 million PRS houses are classed non decent" they will miss out the rest of the comment.

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    Yes we always make significant improvements before letting out a property. However, when Tenants stay or rotate for long periods without a break how do you keep standards up, especially when lumbered with new rules & extra requirements, it’s impossible when occupied and everywhere full of their belongings plus now they have too many rights and don’t want you there but some see fit to complain about everything. I don’t see any provision in the Regulations how the LL is supposed to achieve or comply, maybe by magic.


    Agreed, I have a house coming empty this week end I could turn it around and re let it in days, however I will take advantage of the void to make some improvements which are impossible with tenants living there , and the rent will of course be increasing .

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    Just an observation but a reduction from 1.21 million to one million is a 20% reduction in "non-decent" homes. It may not be massive but I would consider 20% significant if the movement was the other way.


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