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Landlords switch on to investment potential of upgrading EPCs

New research suggests that some landlords are now deliberately choosing to buy properties with weak EPCs in order to upgrade and benefit from capital appreciation.

Research by specialist lender Landbay suggests that seven out of 10 Buy To Let landlords are aware of government proposals that all rental properties must ultimately have an EPC rating of A, B or C - that awareness is particularly strong amongst portfolio landlords. 

The research also reveals that 68 per cent of the landlords surveyed had properties with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G. However, the majority of those - four out of five - intend to make changes to bring their properties up to at least a C rating.

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Current proposals (widely expected to become law) are that new tenancies must be C rated by 2025 and for existing tenancies by 2028.

Landbay says landlords are now beginning to see these changes as an opportunity: 53 per cent of portfolio landlords owning 10 or more units said they would consider buying homes that were D rated or lower and bring them up to at least a C rating.

This compares to 32 per cent of portfolio landlords with four to 10 properties who would do the same but only 20 per cent of non-portfolio landlords would choose to buy and upgrade.

 

 

Paul Brett, managing director, intermediaries at Landbay, says: “Buying properties and making them more energy efficient will raise the value of the property and the rental income landlords can charge, as well as reducing tenant’s energy bills. 

“A few extra thousand pounds spent at the buying stage will be an investment for the longer term.

“As awareness of EPC requirements and green mortgages improves, I expect to see many more landlords taking advantage of the lower rates offered by the green mortgage.”

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    Many LLs do a whole host of upgrading when they first buy a property - improving the EPC at this stage is common sense and is also cheaper to do. The problem is the 1000s of properties with tenants in or which have already had improvements done which would need ripping out to improve the EPC. These are the properties that LLs will be dumping on to the market for the FTBs to pick up.

    Until the EPC assessment is a fair and predictable measure I will not be throwing my money at this woeful moving target and as for Green Mortgages - they are not even competitive!

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    I agree. I have looked into up-grading my 3 1933 rental properties. They need the solid floors taking up. The existing UPVC windows replacing with new UPVC windows. Also all the wooden floors need insulating. What do I do with my existing tenants while ALL the downstairs floors are removed?

     
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    Higher EPC = higher rent.

    Has anyone asked tenants what they prefer?

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    I agree ripping floors up for a possible 1 or 2 point is ridiculous
    If you have to rip up the Solid Floors to put insulation underneath the savings will be minute. The pay back time will be 100`s of years. Tricia is correct try checking EPC in your streets the reports are not consistent with the work done.

  • Matthew Payne

    I wouldnt do anything in this area until the whole EPC debate has had a good airing and we know what government plans to do. The ratings and how they are calculated are under review and I suspect we may get some new guidance at some point to help government hit its targets, which at the moment it has no hope of getting anywhere near. A lot of spend on Ds & Es may not be required and the new measure could be a lot more forgiving in certain areas, but we need to know what they are first.

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    I agree, I have no plans to do anything yet, just keep taking the income for now, I will make my decision when I know all the facts, I don't want to sell anything but at the same time I'm not tipping thousands of £s down the drain doing unnecessary work.

     
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    I'm fully in agreement with you and the other respondent to your contribution.

    I had been pouring hours of time and worry into the existing EPCs on my portfolio to work out how I can achieve a C financially in the timescale since it first was raised in 2020- I have lots of 1910 builds. My wife convinced me to standback and wait. No point in throwing money in now- it doesn't even count to your 10k cap at this point.

    The epc system isn't fit for purpose and this is the government of ever changing goalposts and u turns so who knows.

    My way is to be ahead of the game by nature but on this it's a sit back and wait.

    Apart from selling a few that is- which is more to do with the overall landlord assault than specifically EPC. 30 years in the business and 48 properties- time to drop a few- I'm tired of the gov assaults

     
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    If a LL Wants your D or E properties, to spend 10’s of thousands of pounds on….. they will not be paying the market rate :) why would I as a LL selling up bother to even consider another LL’s low offer, when there are loads of keen FTB’s who will often pay over the asking price, it is all nonsense.

  • michael davies

    Yes i agree, all nonsense simon

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    Unfortunately I believe the lenders will be taking a view on this and expect First time buyers property to be EPC at least a“C” as well.
    (not that it makes much difference to the Planet with so much Black smoke in Eastern Europe ).

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    And you should see the black diesel smoke the 20 yr old buses pump out in Norwich city centre, all nonsense.

     
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