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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords face massive bills to meet energy efficiency goals

Almost a quarter of landlords say their properties are currently rated D or below for energy efficiency, according to a new report from Shawbrook Bank. 

Some 23 per cent of landlords surveyed said that their properties were rated D or below, however, the number could be higher with a further 27 per cent of landlords admitting they don’t currently know the EPC rating of their properties.

Older homes are more likely to have a lower EPC rating and require improvement. 30 per cent of landlords with Victorian era properties in their portfolio said they were rated D or below.

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Under new proposed regulations, landlords may be required to make changes to their properties to improve the energy efficiency by 2025 for all new tenancies. This means bringing their property’s EPC rating up to a C or above. For existing tenancies, landlords have until 2028.

For landlords with older properties, making these improvements could be a costly exercise.

Indeed, currently two in 10 landlords don’t have the necessary funds required to begin refurbishments of their properties. 

This is particularly the case with older landlords - those aged over 55. A quarter of this group said they don’t currently have the funds available to make changes to their properties to bring them in line with the proposed requirements.

Should landlords be unable to make changes to their properties by the deadline they may be unable to rent their properties so could be left with properties that are unmortgageable and therefore unsellable. This could limit supply in the market, at a time when many are reliant on the private rental sector.

Many landlords are set to make changes to their properties. The English Housing Survey found that there has not been an increase in energy efficiency among housing stock in the private rental sector over the last year - despite an increase in housing stock in England overall.

In order to make changes in time for the proposed deadline, landlords have expressed the need for support from the government and industry. Close to half of landlords said they would benefit from guidance on what the EPC legislation means specifically for landlords, while 37 per cent want to see incentives to make changes such as favourable borrowing rates.

A third of landlords surveyed called for guidance on timings on how to phase the implementation of changes, and 29 per cent wanted to see signposting to suppliers who could help them make improvements to their properties. The same proportion also wanted to receive guidance on how to manage tenants during the improvement process.

Landlords were also interested in speaking with other landlords about the issue, with 21 per cent looking for a shared space to discuss problems and share solutions. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    Don’t worry the government will lend you the money , then when you can’t pay it back , they’ll take the property off you and then rent it back to you

    You’ll own nothing …

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    LL’s face massive Bills to meet EPC efficiency, what’s new we are loaded with massive Bills for everything anyway.
    27% don’t know their EPC, pull the other one it’s got bells on. It’s a legal Requirement to give a copy to Tenants with the Contact, hmm would they not have noticed what it was when making or giving them a copy and it’s a public Registrar.
    There is now going to be a massive increase in energy efficiency EPC or not with the doubling of energy Bills, get hold of that Stat’ it will save more than any Insulation.

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    For the life of me I can't understand what all the fuss is about landlords not being able to improve the energy efficiency (and therefore the EPC) of their investment buildings. I, like thousands of other professional landlords, realised this when EPCs were introduced way back in 2008. It not like the Government has sprung it on us!
    Over the years I've been spending some of my annual rental income on improving loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. I've used external wall insulation on one of my properties - the EPC up-lift for me and energy cost saving for the tenant have been extremely good.
    I've recently installed Dimplex Quantum night storage heaters in a rental flat. I've helped my tenant sign-up to an off-peak electricity tariff, which is a fraction of the cost of expensive 'day time' electricity'. Night storage heaters have come on massively since the 1980s and retain the heat all day whilst the tenant is out at work. It's a pile of bricks in a steel box and is ideal for rental homes where the tenant can be less than careful.
    A domestic EPC is an energy COST calculation, the worse the Grade the more my tenant has to pay to the NPower, British Gas (and indirectly the Qatari Royal Family and Vladimir Putin) and the less money they have to pay my rent. It makes good financial sense to drive down the money my tenants have to pay in energy costs. Don't landlords on this Blog understand this? Every single resi landlord mate of mine in the Thames Valley has either fixed-up their houses and flats to EPC Grade C or long since sold their 'difficult' assets and reinvested the capital in energy efficient homes (which can indeed be both older or modern buildings)
    For me and other professional landlords this simply is not an issue and not a problem. Relaxing Planning regulations so I and others can build a few more houses and flats for renters would be a far better issue for us all to campaign on.
    Domestic EPCs and MEES is NOT what rational landlords worry about.

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    You get penalised for electric storage heaters in an EPC calc so why did you choose to do that?

     
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    Funny how this comment pops up word for word every time there is an EPC story. Perhaps Martin is not a real person? He certainly appears to be the only LL clever enough to have headed off the EPC crisis.

     
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    I’ve read this word for word on other posts. You’re supposed comment not copy & paste.

    Also I’m lead to believe if you take electric fires out your rating goes UP

     
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    Are your properies victorian? Probably not. So some of us landlords who've worked our back sides off to provide quality, energy efficient properties - and have spent considerable money already are still falling below C rating due to the house age - e.g. the brick type could make certain upgrades (such as cavity wall insulation) impossible. So if it's so easy - please feel free to send me the 90k I might need for my 9 x properties. Cheers in advance!

     
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    I think another key issue is the availability of contractor resources, e.g. external wall insulators.

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    If this is important enough why not make all homes get to a C or better? What's special about tenants/landlords? What is the rationale for making LLs make the first move? If this was really about the environment they wouldn't just target LLs.

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    “Should landlords be unable to make changes to their properties by the deadline they may be unable to rent their properties so could be left with properties that are unmortgageable and therefore unsellable.”

    Why should the inability to make changes to the properties make them unmortgageable or unsellable? I thought these proposals only applied to the rental sector? Presumably the option of selling the house free of tenants would still remain.

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    Realistically no landlord knows what EPC score their property would get if it was assessed tomorrow. They only know what it got last time it was assessed. The inconsistencies in the assessment process mean scores can be wildly different in either direction even if no work has been done between assessments.
    I had one property go from F25 to G14. Another from D57 to E47 and another from E48 to D67. How can we have any confidence in the system when 2 different assessors can be so far apart in their data inputting?

    The scoring is supposed to be changing again shortly so heat pumps don't lower the score as much as they currently do.

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    Martin, re-posts same nonsense comment whether because of laziness or for annoyance.
    The definition of a professional is someone that looks down their noses at us and does nothing, let someone else do it and rip us off.

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    It’s not as I haven’t been improving the Properties its non stop for decades and before EPC’s were heard off. Add to that the HMO’s licensing costs again & again 2006 / 2011 / 2016 & 2021, Martin didn’t mention how much he has spent on those or how many Licenses he was required to get completely different work and requirements costs to EPC’s and I have at least 6 EPC’s that are ‘C’ or better. The computers & internet has caused most problems creating millions of people playing with there buttons instead of doing a days work causing problems, when S 21 was introduced there was no internet, and we wrote to Marsham St, or they had an actual working phone number to make contact with them.

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    As said above by another commentator, not going along with this nonsense does not mean that you will have a problem with selling the property, Step 1 - Evict the tenants. Step 2 - Put the property up for sale. Step 3 - Accept the highest offer from that FTB”er.
    I will be spending exactly nothing on all this smoke and mirrors, mine will be sold in well enough time to maximise my CG tax liability. All of this depends on where you are in your life plan, I am coming to retirement so spending crazy money on my BTL”s is financially inept. Let others if they wish too. The local authorities of this once great nation had better find a “few” more properties from somewhere!!!

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    I have just checked on The Government EPC Website in the whole Street where I have a rented Terraced Property. In the street of approximately 100 Houses there is not one registered at a C grade. You would have thought if you had the same insulation ,Boilers Glazing etc you would get the same rating . But you don`t they are all different . The cost of the External Wall insulation is between £ 12 and £18000 pounds. For the benefit of only a few points. Or taking your floor up for £4000 to get one point. I am not against Insulation that is cost effective.
    A few years ago the street, and area was full of rented properties , Many of the tenants had lived there for years, Now there are very few. And the ones left are now very selective ,Universal Credit Tenants are finding it almost Impossible to find anything to rent.
    In the words of one local estate agent, Landlords are selling up because it is all pay out.
    The Government need to start listening to private Landlords, and the Councils need to stop regarding Private Landlords as cash Cows.

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    I am an experienced LL with 8 btl houses. Over the last 2-3 years I have made sure all houses have led lights, 270 loft insulation, upgraded a few condenser boilers and fitted individual thermostats to ch rads. All have DG. 5 out of 8 are now C. 2 need cavity wall insulation which I will get done after April tax year. The final house is an older larger Victorian house, my favourite as it looks so grand. However it is a D and without either internal cavity walls or external cavity walls can't get to a C rating. The cost for this £10-14k. This is to save tenant £36pa. I am hoping for a partial grant to do this work. If I don't get it I will have to sell the house making homeless a family of 6 with 4 children and one of them is disabled. Let us hope the council can re-house them. They are very happy in house as it is. Easiest option would let me pay family £36 pa towards their energy. It is very strange because if they had deposit same family could buy house from me and remain living there as only btl houses targeted by EPC of C. Make more sense to target everyone in an E standard home first, and not just btl LL.

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    Why are there no comments on the EPC exemption ?
    Has anybody registered successfully?
    preregistration.beis.gov.uk

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    Yes I did couple of yrs ago had G rated property got it up to an F and had a MEES report done on it which estimated £14k to get to an E , it presently is exempt, no chance of getting that to a C , not bothered though I paid £13.5k for it nearly 30 yrs ago, I 'll carry on drawing the rent on it as long as possible then blow it away in an auction.

     
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    Naomi, I expect it will be like the HM0 exemption’s, the people that’s now running the Civic Centre’s exempted their own Kip & kin no other explanation, don’t expect anyone who gets mees exemption to make a comment they’ll be staying quiet.

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    Until the U Turn on demanding that the NHS staff get the jab i had thought that this EPC C was set in stone...... given the govt appear to be in total disaray i am now more 50/50 on if they will stick with it. I am still planning on it coming in and making my financial plans based on this premise, but given who is in charge and his ' job saving at all costs ' mind set, you never know !

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    Its not just huge EPC costs. The 6 major Banks are passing on the full .25% interest rate rise.
    The LL’s are the only one not allowed to pass on their costs.

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