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Rishi Reshuffle - will EPC reform move a step closer?

The trade press is fixated on the departure of housing minister Lucy Frazer after four months in the government reshuffle, but the most important point for landlords may be the creation of a new department. 

Grant Shapps is to lead a new department called Energy Security and Net Zero, and within hours of taking office he has been subject to lobbying by concerned sections of the rental sector. 

For example Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, comments:“We are pleased to see that the UK Government is demonstrating its dedication to the Net Zero target by creating this new department. Buildings account for 30 per cent of emissions in the UK, with homes making up 17 per cent of the total, which means there is room for improvement across the sector.


"However, property agents are looking for clarity on how landlords, homeowners and businesses can meet energy performance targets. [We call] on local and central government to produce a coordinated strategy across the country which incorporates financial incentives, awareness raising and skills development to deliver the improvements that are needed. Improving the energy efficiency of housing and buildings is not only important to reduce fuel bills but is the right thing to do.

"We look forward to working with the new department to ensure that the property sector can play its part in the UK becoming Net Zero by 2050.”

Kate Davies, executive e director of the Intermediate Mortgage Lenders Association, takes up the same theme.

“The Prime Minister’s decision to … restore a standalone energy department brings hope for more efficient decision making on energy policy, and in particular energy efficiency requirements for homes. However, action to match this aspiration must follow if real change is to take place.

“In 2021, the Committee on Climate Change estimated that £55 billion of investment in home energy efficiency was needed by 2050 for the UK to achieve a balanced pathway to net zero. However, the UK housing market has been waiting for clarity on EPC rule changes for months now, despite the first proposed deadline – the 2025 cut off for all rented properties to become EPC band C - looming nearer every day.

“Landlords in particular have been left with a significant amount of work to do and little guidance on how, when or whom they should approach to ensure their properties are compliant with whatever EPC regulations are introduced. We hope that a new, streamlined department will help provide some much-needed clarity on the requirements for landlords, lenders, brokers and house builders alike.

"It will also be very important that the new department does not operate in a vacuum – but works closely with other departments, agencies and stakeholders in order to develop a joined-up, long-term strategy.”

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    At least I could then know for certain what date I need to evict and sell 👍🏻👍🏻💵💵

  • George Dawes

    EPC = yet another scam in a long line of

    FedUp Landlordy

    Well said 👍

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    There are still houses being let out with an EPC below E & goodness knows how many owner occupied properties would also fail to meet this target. The emphasis should be on improving the whole of the property sector not just pushing LLs who comply to further & further costs. On our own, we aren't enough to make a difference to emissions & the only losers will be the tenants as we all head for the door :(


    Owner occupier votes are far more than landlord votes, so no politician will risk alienating them in the same way as they are only too happy to alienate landlords

    Tenants are too dim to realise they will have to pay for all EPC measures forced on Landlords

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    If any work that improved an EPC score was immediately tax deductible we would all be less reluctant to install some of these things.


    We would still be paying most of it ourselves.

    All improvements must be paid for by those benefitting, i.e by higher rents in rental properties.


    I have done all the sensible things & am left with Victorian Terraces that 'need' floor insulation or wall insulation - not doing either! - and electrically heated properties - no real option here - so for me its not about the tax status of improvements, its about the ridiculousness of the entire EPC rigmarole.

    I just need to know if & when to make my dent, longstanding tenants homeless so I can sell to an owner occupier with no EPC headache to contend with!

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    My latest EPC for one property proposed improvements costing upward of £60k for an estimated annual energy cost saving of about £100, to improve the property from D to C. I sold it.


    Exactly this! I look at an EPC that says ‘floor insulation: £4-6000. Estimated cost saving per year: £38’ and think ‘what demented lunatic would pay for that sort of return?!’. And then I realise the govt expect it to be me…! No thanks.

  • David Arscott

    We're just starting a research project in Bristol, looking at how buying groups can make it more affordable for landlords to retrofit their properties and reach EPC rating C. Do you think landlords will have an appetite for this?


    Not unless higher rents pay for this.


    When you say ‘more affordable’ it would have to be given away as we simply couldn’t recover the cost otherwise.


    Maybe. If it's sensible. The problem is we are going to be working on very small profit margins or even losses with a combination of increased mortgage interest rates and Section 24. Doing retrofit eco stuff isn't a tax deductible expense in most cases. Replacing a single glazed window with a double glazed one is fine but just about everything else is a capital improvement (so not tax deductible). If we sell the property before we die it would potentially lower our CGT bill but we clearly can't trust politicians where CGT is concerned. If we don't sell before we die our estate will pay 40% IHT on whatever that retrofit work has added to the value of the property. So whichever way you look at it everyone else definitely benefits (tenant and HMRC) but it's totally uncertain as to whether the person who is actually expected to pay for it receives any financial benefit from it whatsoever.

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    Maria Lewis on ITV last night on about housing and rents, didn’t mention the threat of removing S.21 which has driven out hundreds thousands of landlords causing a shortage even well before any interest rate hikes.
    Didn’t mention licensing Schemes costing hundreds of millions of £’s in Application fees and associated works of Compliance all robbed from Private Landlords putting pressure on Rents.
    What about EPC’s up grade costs and the super high taxes especially for landlords, Mr Hunt just added another £5’000. to my tax Bill, maybe if the Tenants rep’ took the bullring out of her nose she could be heard more clearly
    Nice one Martin.


    Until they understand why we are leaving they cannot take the actions required to stop us. The tenant groups are delusional - believing the private LL will be replaced by social housing, when in fact it will be replaced by expensive BTR leaving families, particularly at the cheaper end of the market out in the cold with nowhere to live.

    Tenant groups - you can tell 'em, but you can't tell 'em much! They just don't want t o hear!

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    The whole EPC exercise is a futile one. Targetting rental property isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference to the global climate, and is a nonsense whilst home-owned stock is left alone. Are the chinese or indians running around in terror at the thought that their housing stock might only be a D rating?! Is America? Or Russia? No, just British landlords getting clobbered as always.


    We're responsible for less than 1% of global emissions. This utter madness is just suicide, that's all it is. The countries that matter do not give a sh;t. These politicians would argue ''we need to set an example'', these plebs are imagining we're still the British empire of 1900 instead of some irrelevant tiny island that nobody listens to any more. The gullable fools think the brutal dictators in China, Russia or the corrupt democracies in south Asia are going to entertain their silly ''example'' *slaps head*. Most of these mps belong in the nuthouse, not westminister or they are uttlerly deluded about their level of influence.

    I just built 2 maginficent houses with as much insulation as one's heart can desire. Kingspan, the absolute lot. EPC high B. Airtight. Only reason it wasn't A is because there were no solar panels. Believe me those houses are freezing cold when the heating is not on a while. The insulation only does so much. You need central heating in a damp, cold country like the UK. That means you need gas.

    The solution is technological innovation not freezing people to death/bankrupting landlords.


    It's not just bankrupting landlords Dani, this nett zero BS is bankrupting the whole country

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    I have some with a C rating, I have some that are just 2 or 3 points short of a C rating, then there are 2 flats over corner shops that would cost a fortune to get to a C rating it would be madness for me to even consider spending money on those, so when the time comes those tenants will be evicted and the space will be used as storage, I also have an F rated house with an exemption that would not be worth the expense so that would either be used as storage or be sold in auction no reserve , they all owe me peanuts the rent received over the last 30 yrs have covered the purchase price many many times over, but what happens to those 3 tenants losing the roof over their heads, none of them would afford the rent on a C rated property

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    Can someone clarify that it's still a 'proposed' deadline?


    At the moment still only proposed and a long way off becoming law, government seem to be stalling on this for some reason, maybe it'll be watered down or the can kicked down the road, who knows.

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    Re: Shuffle again think on, you are telling us homes make up 17% of the total emissions ?, but we are less than 50% of Homes, shall we say only 8% of the emissions. why then are we the 100% targets.
    Grow up so 8% is go to fix the other 92%.


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