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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

EPCs - Generation Rent and Labour Mayor slam landlords and government

Generation Rent and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have jointly slammed landlords who do not improve the EPCs of their private rental properties - and has condemned the government for making the situation worse.

Strict new targets for energy efficiency in the private rental sector were revealed in 2021, demanding that EPC ratings achieve C or better by 2025 and existing tenancies complying by 2028.

But these proposals were scrapped in September as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s review of green policies, which included an overhaul of measures designed to meet net zero targets.

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Sadiq Khan’s office claims that the English Housing Survey shows 494,000 private rental properties currently have an EPC rating of band D or below in London. 

Combining analysis of the English Housing Survey with national data on energy consumption and current energy prices, Khan claims that London rented homes rated D or lower cost an average of £337 a year extra to heat compared to homes rated C or above.

Khan’s analysis is supported by Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, who says: “The Prime Minister’s cancellation of plans to raise minimum energy efficiency standards means that landlords now have no obligation to agree to any insulation works, even if they are funded by government grants. This reckless political choice is leaving more tenants suffering in cold and draughty homes that are damaging our health and draining our wallets.

“Tenants in draughty homes currently pay hundreds of pounds more per year than they would if their home was insulated properly. Our research shows that three in ten renters are discouraged from applying for grants because of the expectation that their landlord will refuse them.

“With rents through the roof and private tenants facing this premium on our energy bills, we share the Mayor of London's call for the Government to stand by its old promises and demand that landlords improve poor quality homes.”

And Khan himself adds: “The situation for many renters in London and across the country is increasingly bleak, with rents soaring and other costs increasing. A key thing ministers could have done is helped renters with energy efficiency. Scrapping plans for tougher standards is frankly shameful, and will just lead to even higher bills.

“Actively deciding to condemn thousands of renters to draughty, inefficient, expensive homes is letting down renters, and this is on top of delays to banning so-called ‘no fault evictions’.

“Ministers should give cities like London the powers to freeze rents, but also urgently reinstate plans to ensure every renter lives in an energy efficient home.”

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.

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    Generation Rant and Sadiq Khant, what an unholy alliance. Then, almost hidden at the bottom of the article, all becomes clear! “Ministers should give cities like London the powers to freeze rents”. Not content with removing S21, they want rent controls too! 😡😡😡

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    What has freezing rents got to do with EPC?

     
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    @ John Young, No connection other than Citizen Khant has been desperate for that power for some time, so he will jump on any bandwagonagainst landlords IF he can tack rent controls on.

     
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    John Young.. It has plenty to do as I would rather pay my tenant £337 a year than pay for the silly improvements needed to get to C. If I can't increase my rent, how do I pay the thousands required for anti environmental measures in ripping out existing heating and the dubious requirement for wall insulation on one exterior wall. (I don't believe my walls are suitable and if they are not, what then?) Since I let my property interest rates have soared. But I am now facing a rent freeze? I can see myself being forced to sell and that's another rental lost to the increasingly tight market...

     
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    Absolutely. I am sure they do. They look at the model in Scotland and Wales and want that sort of independence to make their own rent control decisions. Even if it is catastrophic as it is in Scotland at the moment. They simply refuse to see that when they hammer the LL, they hammer the tenant. None so blind as those who refuse to see.

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    I wrote yesterday that the students in one of my student flats have fallen out and bailed out on 28 days notice.

    I can either take the risk and relet the flat tomorrow but risk having to sell up to get rid of undesirable tenants, costing me well over £100k in CGT - or accept losing around 6 months rent waiting on next year's student letting cycle, costing me around £15k before tax, costing HMRC around £7k in lost tax and preventing a probably decent family from demonstrating their longer term suitability during an initial fixed six month tenancy, now illegal in Scotland.

    I'm going to bring the property back up to A1 standard and hopefully get a higher rent, perhaps even tempting a group of students to give 28 days notice on an inferior property elsewhere.

    There are no winners in SNP's Scotland when it's actually wiser to leave a property empty than risk losing control over how long a new tenant can stay in it!

     
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    Robert, as you probably know, there will be students wanting a flat for next term. Some overseas students/post-graduates come for one term. Could advertise for those?

     
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    Ellie

    Thanks for the input.

    I'll check this option out.

     
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    If they are so concerned why dunna they put their hands in their pockets themselves and go help these tenants in Slums as they say.

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    Use some of the ULEZ money, a charge imposed on the very same Londoners who are struggling with their rent!

     
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    A CEO of a business (generation rent) And the worst politician of my generation. All these grandstanding self servers will achieve is homelessness for those they pretend to help as many in our sector bale, and perfectly good D rate properties drift out of the rental sector.

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    Let's face it, this article is actually pretty accurate.
    It's a national disgrace that some PRS landlords have still not improved their rental units and made them fit-for-purpose. We've had the increasingly accurate EPC national measurement system firmly in place for 15 years. We've had the Conservative's excellent Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in place since 2015, but still some naïve landlords do nothing to improve their assets. Last winter me (and the few of us who still pay tax) paid £40 billion to subsidise the energy bills of every citizen in the UK. Most live in energy wasteful homes. My money went straight to the sovereign wealth funds of gas exporting Norway, Qatar, Algeria and indirectly to Putin's war machine.
    It's not difficult to make a house or flat a future-proof investment:

    1. You put 2 x layers of new Rockwool in the loft and padlock the hatch shut so the tenant cannot crush the insulation with their suitcases
    2. You insulate the walls - external insulation and new render like Housing Associations have been doing to thousands of their units over many years. Or get a handyman to add a 5cm sheet of Celotex to the INSIDE of any walls facing the outside world. 5cm on ONE wall really doesn't make the room much smaller. I've tested this in the real world and you DO NOT get a condensation problem.
    3. Install an electric heat pump using the £7,500 of FREE MONEY from the Government via great schemes run by British Gas, Octopus Energy etc etc. The heat pump from Octopus called the Cosy 6 even looks quite attractive.
    4. If you are refurbing whilst the unit is vacant then get some insulation under the ground-floor floor boards.
    5. Install a simple Nuaire Drimaster Heat ventilation unit that totally eliminates condensation, damp and mould forever. Again, Housing Associations have installed thousands of these low-cost devices to make their houses and flats decent for their tenants. With this simple mechanical ventilation tenants' towels and clothes washing actually dry.
    6. Before you do the above works get a domestic energy assessor to survey the house/flat and provide you with a draft 'predicted' EPC that shows a Running Cost EPC of Grade C and a CO2 pollution EPC of Grade C (this is called an Environmental Impact Grade on the certificate - all EPCs come with TWO EPC Grades)
    It's all COMMON SENSE.

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    It’s not worth it. I’m not doing it. I didn’t get ANY APPRECIATION from my tenants for insulating the roof. Improvements wont increase the value of the property. One property I have is 100 years old. Generations have lived there just fine. It’s supposed to be warmer now too REMEMBER??? Clothes have improved too.

    Heat pumps don’t work. Thankfully I wasn’t getting your advice pre-Grenfell and now need to remove a load of combustible external insulation. God knows what damage this will do with mould growing compensation seeking tenants going forward.

    Heat pumps don’t work?…Free money you say. You mean our taxes being placed up the wall to fund your green wet dreams…

     
    Peter Why Do I Bother

    I see the resident Genius is on here again, by definition a property graded D is in itself not draughty nor cold.

    A saving of 337 per year for a tenant has to be balanced by the landlord who would have to spend circa 15k to get any sort of improvement. Based on the saving alone it would take 44 years to get payback. On that basis I would give the tenants a rebate of 337 per year, I know what they would say

    "Cheers Pete very good of you that"

    No landlord worth his salt is going to invest that kind of money under the threat of these two clowns, they would rather sell up and cash out.

     
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    Why would I bother when my EPC tells me to spend £30k on improvements, including ripping up an expensive solid wood block floor to carry out underfloor insulation to upgrade from a D to a C to save £100 per annum on energy. I sold and your comments without fail are absolutely ludicrous in particular regarding heat pumps and the costs of carrying out your recommendations are enormous with the payback taking years. I installed and maintained heat pumps commercially world wide for 30 years and would never ever install one in a domestic environment in the UK, anyone who does is a loser. BTW if you switch from gas to heat pumps you lose points on your EPC for switching from gas to electricity, the fact it is a heat pump is ignored. Left hand, Right hand syndrome in action.

     
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    Not you again

     
    Ian Deaugustine

    You must be joking, or I am afraid you are slightly confused: the national disgrace is that the government does not invest a single penny to build social housing for those in need.

     
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    By definition EPC D and E properties ARE fit for purpose.

    Wrong again Martin!

    PS. Why not target the much bigger group of owner occupied properties instead of PRS properties. Are politicians putting votes before the environment?

    Surely not?

     
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    More Gibberish from Gibbons. He really has a one track mind. I think he has a lot more than two layers of Rockwool in his head! 🤣

     
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    Gibbo - you are an uninformed FOOL

     
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    Free money from the Government?

    I thought you were a Conservative and realised that there's no such thing as free money. It's all paid for by hard pressed tax payers which the much missed Margaret Thatcher tried to get the whole country to understand but that message is now long forgotten, sadly.

     
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    They could always build millions of warm social houses 🏡 😂😂😂

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    As usual with these two idiots they are committed to delivering the world all with other peoples money.💰 💴💸

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    Martin thinks the money's FREE!

     
  • Peter Lewis

    Don’t forget the low cost light bulbs, and oh yes who is supposed to do all of this work to all of these properties in such a short time frame? My son recently had a heat pump fitted to his own home, it took seven tradesman one whole working week to carry out the work required and a completely upside down house with floor boards removed, holes in wall, and dust up the ying yang, the result, he was £15000 out of pocket and now has more expensive fuel bills, that are one and a half times as much as they were previously, only to be told that the rest of his central heating system needs to be replaced with larger radiators because heat pumps don’t give out as much heat as gas boilers at an additional cost of £4000.
    No doubt Mr Khan and Twomey would also require Landlords to financially compensate and put existing tenants up in the Savoy whilst all of this work was being carried out?
    Landlords live in the real world, whilst Mr Khan and Twomey live in the mythical world of sugar and spice. God save us from these do gooders and bring back some realists.

    Ian Deaugustine

    thanks for sharing your son dramatic experience, I have learned a lot from you, thanks

     
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    Since most properties these days have double glazing then I doubt they are draughty. In fact many are arguably too well sealed, which leads to condensation and mould when tenants don't heat or ventilate properly. If they really want all these perfect insulated homes then they need to build them or buy up old council stock and retro fit. Oh hang on, that's why they sold them off, too expensive to maintain, let the PRS do that.

    Ian Deaugustine

    Your answer is precisely the point; it is not the private landlord's duty to make our properties suitable for those in need; it is the government's responsibility.

     
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    Very good the answer is simple why are we doing it. Pull out and let the leaches and spongers get on with it. We pay billions in taxes, contribute more billions to the economy in so many way plagued with regulation’s, compliance, licensing. penalties, fines treated as criminal’s, under constant attack, just for providing much needed housing for 11’000’000 people off our own backs, no support or gratitude whatsoever. Then all the SDLD double, income tax upto & including 45% of the remnants c/ gains tax 28%, £300. ph for Solicitors, thousands a year for accountants, 20% vat, inheritance tax 40% etc etc.
    Build thousands of Social houses some say / with what ? buttons. We won’t be there to sponge off and provide the finance so where will all billions coming from ? the Benefit milkers or the rampant single parent syndrome that’s contributing to causing the shortage, you’ll never keep enough build for them, you will also be keeping them as now, you abolished marriage in preference to single parent, just like you abolished savers all those years ago with stupid low interest rates sowing the seeds contributing to today’s crisis…
    So sorry for ever being a landlord the sacrifices made, the work done, the houses built, the taxes paid, the 7 days a week worked, the Tenants housed etc etc what mugs game enjoy the down turn.

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    Generation Rent and Sadiq Khan just dictate on the sidelines as to what should be done, making impossible demands.

    They should actually do some real work in the housing industry themselves. It is so easy to talk, much harder to build, repair, manage etc. yourself.

     
  • Ian Deaugustine


    I quote Generation Rant: "With rents through the roof.": they must be joking, or I am afraid they are confused: the national disgrace is that this government, as well as previous ones for at least the last 30 years, have not invested a single penny to build social housing for those in need. Sorry, it is not the private landlord's duty to resolve this issue.

    jeremy clarke

    Perhaps if we took Gibbon's advice and insulated the loft, the rent would not go through the roof!

     
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    EPCs make very little difference to heating bills in my experience.
    I have a 6 person HMO, EPC E. The November gas bill was £118.
    A 3 person house, EPC C. The November bill was £83.
    My house is EPC A. The November gas bill was £150.
    The main differences are the two rentals have combi boilers and conventional radiators. My house has a standard boiler with a hot water cylinder and underfloor heating. It's the newest (built 2004) of the 3 houses, with insulation built in. The other 2 were both built in the early 1950s. Another difference is orientation. Mine is East/West. The other 2 are North/South.
    Another difference is the number of thermostats and heating zones. The other houses have 1 with the thermostat in the lounge. Mine has 4 zones, which often demand heat at different times so the boiler seems to run for a very long time some days.

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    lets get the EPC regime sorted out first - why do i get penalised for having electric central hearing in my apartments which use green electricity tariffs

    Ian Deaugustine

    Exactly, your point makes lots of sense to me, thanks

     
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    CEO of Generation Rant and Saddiq Khan sit on a pedestal relish ordering the LL's around without any real concerns for the tenants. In 2021, Saddiq Khan as a stupid Mayor of London had leaflets all around London homes that a company selected by them was willing to do the solar panels and batteries providing owners registered with them for the work by paying £150. We decided to have battery installed for our already working solar panels in our house so paid the registration fees. I also paid the fees for a rented house to the homeless charity. However, many changed deadlines were given and a lot of chasing and eventually they so called installedctge battery in our home causing a lot of electric failures. They would not take the responsibility for it. An independent electrician sorted our electrics so that it was working again. However, the battery has still not worked after about 18 months of installation. The rented house, they did the solar panel. Once installed they sent an email to pay immediately before the operation documents can be sent with new EPC. Payment made immediately, no documents received and solar panels not working. A total waste of money. The house is well insulated and EPC is an upper D, so I was hoping it to be a C. However, a lot of time, money and stress later nothing working. Chased for documents and they insisted they were emailed to me. I kept chasing them for months to forward those documents and they never did. So it has been a total waste of money. Another house, they had stated it would not provide much output as it was not south facing, where the panels would go (saved money). I believe the company selected by the Mayor's office had no qualified or 'know how' resources to carry out proper insulation. It has been a total waste of money so far. The Mayor is just ranting without taking any responsibility for anything. The earlier people realise what a stooge we have as a Mayor, the better London would be without him as a Mayor.

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    By the way the £150 was only a registration of interest. Some of the London LL's might recall this. Then this solar companies came to provide quotes and took long time to do so called installation without any explanation how it works. They took the money and non working battery and solar panels. Trying to find someone who can make it working. Already paid for someone to look into it, but so far no body is making it operational. A total waste of money. Do the installers and Saddiq Khan care, no. I shall just have to stop renting some of the properties, if they bring in EPC as C. This so called do-gooders are useless and greedy for power and be relevant. If LL's stop renting their D rated properties, no housing for tenants, no money for handyman, plumbers, electricians. Lowered tax for HMRC and the government. Then they may learn to do a U turn or force LL's to carry out work or seize properties. Communism, see how the world will see UK as a communist. No more investment in properties, prices falling. Even then not enough owner occupier will purchase. Less cap gains for the treasury. Stupid Saddiq has to go and Generation rant to close down.

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    Did you pay the £150 or any part of the bill on a credit card? If so Section 75 may help you.
    One of my solar installations wasn't done strictly to the surveyors plan and Section 75 paid out about £3000 which I used to have solar edge inverters. This brought the panels up to the quoted productivity.

     
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    People who work out doors require far less heating in the house.
    People staying in-doors all day get soft and curled up like hatching hens, others come and throw windows open.

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