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EPC cost crisis - new fear that landlords may not meet new rules

With less than four years left until the government wants all new private rented properties to be rated at least EPC ‘C’, new research reveals a lack of confidence from landlords that they will meet the deadline. 

Current legislation in England and Wales requires buy to let properties to have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. 

However, in order to improve the energy efficiency of rental properties, the government wants to increase the requirement to a ‘C’ rating for all new tenancies by 2025 and for all existing tenancies by 2028.


According to the poll of around 750 landlords, conducted by The Mortgage Works, more than a third (35%) say they are not confident they will be able to bring their properties up to the required energy efficiency standard. This is not only due to a lack of available capital but also a lack of awareness regarding what it takes to achieve that ‘C’ rating.

The TMW research highlights a number of challenges facing landlords in their attempts to meet the new sustainability requirements. 

Only 10 per cent believe they will not face any challenges with the target, while 51 per cent think there are tough hurdles on the way to meeting the new rules. 

Landlords with larger property portfolios were more likely to face potential challenges than those with a smaller number of properties, especially when it comes to property constraints (66 per cent for those with 11 or more properties, against 49 per cent with 10 or fewer. 

Some 61 per cent of landlords say they will need to spend money to get their properties up to an EPC ‘C’ standard - for 14 per cent that will mean spending all of their annual rental income, and perhaps even more.


Even if the money is available, some 11 per cent of landlords admit they have no idea of what work is required and don’t know where to start. 

Daniel Clinton, head of The Mortgage Works, says: “Given the concerns and challenges facing landlords in not only making the necessary improvements, but financing them, it’s perhaps no surprise that more than a third of landlords are not confident they will be able to bring their properties up to the required EPC ‘C’ standard.” 

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  • George Dawes

    Hiding in plain sight now , it's obvious where we are heading and it's not a good place

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    Trying to improve an EPC is like throwing darts at a dart board, blindfolded! The system is so opaque there is no way of knowing how many points an improvement will achieve. The measures recommended often involve huge sums of money for little benefit (which goes to the tenant) and no financial return for the LL. Installation of any internal insulation (inc floor) is so disruptive that it can't be done with tenants in situ. The recommendations are at odds with other Govt policy - GCH scores highly but new installations will be banned after 2026 while heat pumps score badly although the Govt wants to install 600,000 a year! Electric heating, which is green & clean, scores very badly because of cost (25% of which is green subsidies) even though it can be completely green (from solar & wind) and on some estates there is no alternative.

    Until the govt has a cohesive policy for the future of heating our homes and the EPC is a fair & transparent measure why would anyone invest the £000s needed to bring a property upto this artificial standard?

    EPC C - if it happens in its current form - might just precipitate the biggest housing crisis we have ever seen. I for one, am heading for the door and will be evicting perfectly happy tenants from perfectly decent homes.

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    Further issues with EPCs are that for the most part they are carried out by badly/poorly trained individuals with no building survey knowledge and are based on making assumptions not on reality and therefore give an incorrect result. How can a LL be expected to carry out improvements based on guess work.
    Until EPCs reflect correctly the construction, insulation levels etc of the property they are a complete nonsense and I for one will also be heading for the door.

    Matthew Payne

    Exactly right and many wont even look in a loft, and guess about sub floor or cavity wall insulation. I have been advising clients to meet inspectors at properties when the surveys are done, with as much paperwork as they can muster showing what the property does or doesnt have, and then do a walk through with them. We have overturned Fs to Cs doing this.

    George Dawes

    So true , twice they ignored the point that I spent a fortune on roof insulation. I even told the guy to put it on the list . Completely ignored me .utterly useless.

  • Paul James

    The EPC grading system needs a serious review and shake up if this is to be achieved. The grading systems make no sense and I recently fell foul of having super efficient, internet controlled new electric heaters that can be used to heat the property up in half and hour not being deemed as efficient as 70s technology storage heaters which have to heat up fully overnight and are not efficient whatsoever!
    Some properties will also never make this grade due to their design and age without thosands of pounds being spent which will make it financially unviable to continue. This will mean many tenants will have to leave their homes if landlords decide to sell these non-viable properties leading to a potential housing crisis...


    Agreed I keep applying to get green grant for wall insulation one of my properties a Victorian end terrace (as it F rated)even with UPVC double glazing! so it’s been empty. the green grant got pulled and house now on the market. I’ll sell off the rest of my portfolio sooner rather than later :0(


    Like you Paul James, I got the very latest energy efficient electric heating system put into one of my houses about 3 years ago, to replace the storage heaters and I still only got an E rating. Apparently the grading system hadn't caught up with the new technology!!


    This is a good example of where the EPC assessment fails - electric radiators are all scored the same whether they are high end quality rads or a £25 convection heater from Homebase! Storage heaters score slightly higher because they use E7 (but who wants to live with old storage heaters and pay higher rates on everything else?). Many assessors agree this is unfair but there is nothing they can do about it.

    Similarly, good double glazing doesn't score higher than bad; new rads don't score higher than old; well maintained boiler no better than poorly maintained inefficient - everything is about the box it ticks. It would be funny if it wasn't going to affect so many people :(

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    Lloyds will be happy to buy any of our properties with plans of buying up 50000 by the year 2030. This is not coincidence and all a plan to get rid of the small/medium, even big time private landlords. The "World Economic Forum" (Davos crowd) with the slogan "You will own nothing and be happy" are just waiting in the shadow to jump on the small guys. I will also be selling half of my properties and buy them back cheaply at the "Great Reset". In the meantime I will put some money into precious metals (insurance) and bitcoin (speculations). I can only recommend to watch Mike Maloney on YouTube.

  • icon

    I seem to have 4 x D band and 1 x E band ratings - hoping govt sees sense (yep,live in hope) before the 4 years are up - the problem is,where do you put your wonga for similar returns? Anyone any great ideas? Thanks in advance!

  • George Dawes

    There’s lots of adverts for gold on the rt channel . Shane it doesn’t taste much good or I’d invest .

    My advice buy lots of tinned food . Lots LOTS !

    This Xmas thx to the lack of hgv delivery is going to be an utter nightmare and the government are as useless as ever stopping eu drivers from temporarily driving and delivering


    Frozen Turkey George. That’s the place to put your money this Christmas .

  • George Dawes

    From google , best ways to improve your epc rating ;

    Upgrade your lighting to LED light bulbs. ...definitely the easiest and cheapest option and has a huge effect in my experience on your epc rating
    Insulate the walls and roof. ...in old terraced buildings not a realistic option
    Invest in double or triple glazed windows. ... I’d advise secondary glazing , cheaper , just as effective and you don’t need to change the windows
    Install a more efficient boiler. ...definitely an option worth looking at
    Install a smart meter. - personally I’d avoid this as they’re not smart at all

  • icon

    That’s what wrong with housing & the whole economy.
    Reduced base rates too low abolishing Savers over night, they all went buying property they didn’t necessarily need or
    want, bidding against each
    other driving prices mad, false economy, no savers the rest is irreversible history now. Another reason why the young have no savings, so no where else to put your devaluing currency just keep heating housing market until it collapses.

  • Andrew McCausland

    I take peoples point about EPC's being of variable standard but we simply can't do nothing if we are to reduce our carbon output. There are a number of things that can be done cheaply, replacing lightbulbs with LED's giving the best bang for your buck. After that it is loft insulation and then underfloor insulation.

    My concern as a fitter is the complications around eligibility for the various funding schemes already out there. ECO3 is soon to be replaced by ECO4 next year. This can give LL free boilers and heating upgrades along with cavity wall and loft insulation. It is dependant on the tenant's situation but is well worth exploring. On top of that there are a number of local authority organised schemes that target those owners and tenants on low incomes and in fuel poverty. Again, this can be used to allow you to upgrade your property for free if your tenant is eligible.

    With COP26 coming up in November I fully expect there to be further funding announcements in the coming months The Chancellor has already said there are ongoing discussions about a Green Homes Grant 2.0 type of scheme.

    The problem with this is the split incentive - the LL pays for the upgrade but the tenant get the advantage of lower fuel bills. Whatever new scheme is announced it needs to be simple to get into and offer sufficient incentives to LL to overcome this splint incentive problem, be that a straight grant or tax incentives to encourage take up.


    co2 is our friend--we need more

    co2 supports life

    co2 is not causing temp rise

    its a scam

  • John  Adams

    The results of all this madness are reduced supply, a massive increase in rents, and 0.01% decrease in our CO2 emissions as a Country. But hey in the meantime it's perfectly fine to build whole new estates that don't have Solar, Rain Harvesting, or Triple Glazing, go figure that out as a joined-up policy.

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    just for fun I've just checked the epc rating on one of my properties on the gov site.
    (can post link but search for find-a-certificate on gov website)

    It gives a helpful guide on how I can get from D to B rating.

    Lowball figure: £16350.
    Highball: £32650.

    Based on the house value of £65,000, I'm done, I'd rather sell and improve my own home!


    Steve - I just did the same for one of mine - currently an E, following their guidelines it might make a B.

    Cheapest cost - £17,400 (and if living there 26 years to get the cost back)
    Priciest cost - £43,100 (and if living there 65 years to get the cost back)

    Of course, I'm not living there so the annual savings of £664 will be going into the pocket of the tenant.

    Somehow I don't think I'm going to fork out that much as if I sold it after the work was done I'd still be out of pocket!

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    Yes it’s a big issue and so expensive to get things done those days if indeed you can find someone to do it at all or do a reasonable job. EPC is certainly a very emotive subject if only people put the same emphasis on Section 21 even more important than EPC we might get some where. What does it matters about EPC if removed of Section 21 has stopped us from functioning and throw in the towel, do they really think when they have taken away the few remaining scraps of LL’s rights he is going to continue putting his head on the block. The blackmail tricks are played out.

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    My latest EPC includes ASSUMPTIONS and also contradicts the previous EPC. So does that mean cops can dish out speeding tickets on the basis of ASSUMPTION without any evidence?

    The assessor ASSUMED I had no floor insulation but I watched them install it when I had new flooring laid 11 years ago. Nothing I can do about it I suppose?

    I am also curious as to how my Fully Double-Glazed windows only merited a Good (10 years ago) and has now been downgraded to Average.

    And apparently my house has shrunk by 2 sq. metres since the last EPC - same assessor. Go figure! Just goes to show how arbitrary (and useless) the whole thing is. But it puts money into the Treasury, right?

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    I was considering buying a property but the EPC rating was really low. When I looked it up on the Gov website, the major reason given was the lack of roof insulation. Now, I found that extremely odd as the property did not have a roof, the reason being that it is a ground-floor flat with other flats above it. I was gobsmacked!

    That just proves how ridiculous this EPC thing is.

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    I have just "renewed" my EPC which, according to the government, will become invalid once the new regulations are in place meaning I have to pay for another one before the current one expires. Hmm!!

    Phased implementation - band C by 2028 and band B by 2030

    The previous EPC stated that the maximum rating my property could achieve is C (72). The latest EPC now says the same 100-year old house can achieve a B (82) by installing solar panels and solar heating at a cost of approx. £12,000 just to save TENANTS £200-£400 a year.

    Sorry, Government, that's not going to happen unless you give me a Grant. But since I got nothing out of you when you were dishing out Grants to everyone but landlords, even though my property has been empty for well over a year due to Covid (and I still have to pay 100% council tax), I am not going to hold my breath.


    Most of my properties were built around 1880, so getting to a C or even a B is going to cost, I'll pay the money, but I 'll expect a pay back period of 2 - 3 yrs, what will that do to rent increases ? the end user pays !

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    moneysavingexpert dot com/utilities/free-cavity-loft-insulation/#freeinsulation

    My EPC says I need cavity wall insulation to up my rating but according to the Energy Saving Trust, my property is in a problem area and likely not suitable for cavity wall insulation. How can the government make me perform a task on my house which could be detrimental to the property and residents' health?


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