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Agents back landlord warning that homes will fail new EPC minimum

Letting agents have come out with figures to back up an argument that landlords have been making for some time  - that many privately rented homes in England are unlikely to achieve the energy efficiency rating target set to become law in 2028.

Propertymark says its analysis of the latest English Housing Survey shows that 60 per cent of the rental sector will have achieved the minimum EPC C rating by that time - but four out of 10 will not. 

The Westminster government has yet to respond to a consultation it held in 2020 on how to boost rental sector energy efficiency, but a draft strategy includes a ‘preferred policy scenario’ for new tenancies to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2025, extending to all tenancies by 2028.


A Private Members’ Bill with the same requirements was introduced by Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale in the spring, but has not yet made progress. 

Propertymark wants the Westminster government to move away from a one-size-fits-all policy in favour of energy efficiency proposals that consider a property’s age, condition, and size rather than its tenure.

A new report from Propertymark highlights the variances in retrofitting costs based on individual characteristics and regional property values. It includes proposals for local councils to develop ‘one stop shops’ to engage with landlords to find suitable methods to facilitate retrofit at pace which has also been recommended by stakeholders such as the Local Government Association.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, comments: “We knew it would be a huge challenge for the PRS to achieve the proposed 2028 target because the owners of rental properties will not directly benefit from lower energy bills, so where is their incentive? The data in the English Housing Survey shows just how far there is to go.

“The new UK government should take heed of this projected shortfall if it is serious about net zero, and against the backdrop of the huge sums of money it has had to commit in the short-term to help householders with their rising bills amid the cost-of-living crisis.

“Our member agents are already seeing rental properties disappearing from the market for a variety of reasons and there is a real danger more could go with the EPC rating target hanging over them.

“Propertymark supports moves to improve the energy efficiency of property types and will continue to lobby for a national retrofit strategy with realistic, fair and achievable targets alongside dedicated, long-term grants that consider each property’s individual characteristics.”

According to the English Housing Survey, 68 per cent of housing association homes are currently rated at C or above, compared to 61 per cent of council homes and 42 per cent of those owner-occupied.

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  • icon

    If it's not possible, or not viable, then when it becomes illegal to rent tenants will simply be evicted, local councils problem to house them then, law of unintended consequences ?


    And where will the councils put them Andrew? In B&Bs or AirBnBs that don't meet EPC level C. Or caravans as some are doing now with children?

  • icon

    Yes Andrew… and deep down the councils understand it, but this green tsunami is beyond their control, they will just have to cope with the fallout….. with my tenants in the thick of it. I can honestly see this coming in, if they had sense it would drop to a D …. but the RTB program shows that all governments have zero sense. The majority of tenants have no clue this is on the horizon 😬😬, I really do like my tenants, they have been with me a lot of years, but I am not a charity, and the fortune I need to spend will not bring me any real return 🤔 so what kind of business would I be if I went ahead ?


    I also have long term tenants in EPC D properties that will be evicted if EPC C comes in.

    What we actually need is some clarity - get the new algorithm working & get the law on the statute books so we can see what we are being asked to do & by when. Until we have clarity most LLs will do nothing. If EPC C comes in, many will sell.

  • icon

    How accurate is it that 40% of rental properties are genuinely below a C?
    How many properties falsely have low EPCs because either the assessor was clueless about construction methods, terrified of being found to be too generous if audited or deliberately aimed for a low score to get grant funding for insulation?
    How many of us knew that accuracy was going to be important 6 or 7 years ago when these Mickey Mouse assessments were churned out?
    Back then it was frustrating that they were blatantly wrong but it didn't actually matter because we knew the reality. EPCs were just another bit of nonsense the government had dreamt up for people to pay for.
    Now some of us are far better prepared with our paperwork and photographic evidence and insist on being present while the assessment is carried out in any borderline properties. I had one property gain 19 points when I did a guided tour of what should have been blindingly obvious. I hadn't even made any improvements to that property between assessments.
    How many have had loads of improvements since the last EPC was done but we haven't had a new assessment carried out yet because we don't have to?
    How many of us are waiting to see what happens if the algorithm is tweaked later this year as expected?

    I think we all need to bear in mind anyone can become an EPC assessor after doing a 2 day online course with absolutely no previous experience of anything construction related. Even an experienced EPC assessor only charges about £55 so won't have time to look for stuff that isn't obvious. Without us being present to spoon feed them the relevant evidence they are going to make some very inaccurate assumptions.

  • George Dawes

    Apparently there will be exclusions available from epc for older properties that are simply impossible to update

    No doubt they’ll be costly , very …

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    My advice is to get to know a decent local EPC assessor, cover their costs to do a proper assessment of the property well before the EPC is due (they can model it as they go) and sit down and do some what-if modelling with them. So far has worked pretty well for me, I have a couple of "sticky" houses but I think I'll get them to C this summer ok. I've also benefited from my council having a wad of grant cash available for loft and cavity insulation that I've been able to use on 4 properties

  • icon

    I don't believe 60% of rental properties will be C by 2028 I think it will be far less. We have a couple of what I would describe as modern houses, but they fall just short of a C. The recommended remedy is to insulate the party walls or to insulate the floor. How you would go about insulating the floor on a house with a concrete slab god knows. And why insulate a party wall, do they assume that the neighbours don't have any heating. The savings in monetary terms and CO2 terms are negligible, but the alteration work would have a carbon footprint that could outweigh the savings. I think I calculated the pay back period (ignoring inflation) was something like 200 years.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    There is NO 'Just' legal precedent for the EPC standards to Only apply to the PRS and a Judicial review is required - NOW to raise this matter, as its likely that
    40% of Council and Social Housing will be affected.

    This will cause Massive Homelessness.


    That is a very good point, I had not thought of it that way 👍🏻

  • icon

    I doubt if private let property is as bad as they would they us have us believe. There are loads advertised on internet usually looks very nice & modern to attract good Tenants.
    The climate is getting warmer so we will be using less energy to keep warm, if we go over the top we’ll be using energy to keep cool.


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