Some 47 per cent of landlords incorrectly believe the need for EPC C rating is only guidance, not the law.
That’s the claim from the Mortgage Advice Bureau which adds that a fifth of landlords say they weren’t previously aware of the EPC changes coming in 2025.
Only a third of landlords had received guidance about what changes needed to be made from the government, the MAB adds.
Landlords are being blocked from renting out properties they own and may face hefty fines unless they retrofit and upgrade them to an EPC rating of C by 2028, in line with the government race to net zero.
Following a consultation in 2021, the government issued a deadline of 2025 for newly rented properties and 2028 for all other properties to get to a minimum EPC rating of C.
However, reports recently suggest this deadline could be pushed back to 2028 for all rentals. According to research undertaken by Mortgage Advice Bureau, there is confusion about what the rules actually mean.
While 86 per cent of landlords know what their EPC rating is, nearly half said that they believed that the regulations around EPC ratings were ‘guidance’ and not the law.
Only 35 per cent knew it was the law, and nearly a fifth weren’t aware of the changes at all.
Of the ones who did know they needed to make changes (whether it was law or guidance), 34 per cent had heard about this via the Government themselves. However, a further third had only heard about the EPC rules through the media, and 30 per cent through their friends and family.
Almost a quarter were made aware of the changes needed to be made from their tenants themselves.
The main concerns of landlords around upgrading their properties by the 2028 deadline are the costs of making all the necessary upgrades and finding a trusted tradesperson.
The research shows that those who only let one property are more unaware of the changes than those who’ve got two or more properties. Over a quarter of landlords with a single property did not know about the upgrades that needed to be made, compared to landlords with over six properties, who were all aware of the changes.
Ben Thompson, deputy CEO of Mortgage Advice Bureau, says: “Landlords were facing a race against time to retrofit their properties and meet incoming EPC legislation.
“As well as cost of living pressures and higher interest rates working against landlords meeting the initial 2025 deadline, they were also clearly in the dark about the changes that they needed to make. While delaying the cut-off date before the law comes into place is clearly a sensible move, unless there is clear help unveiled to support with the cost of retrofitting, they could find themselves up against the deadline again in a few years’ time.
“An extension would also, sadly, mean that tenants will continue to struggle with higher energy bills, so it’s vital that the deadlines are not seen to be easily moved. Sooner or later, the inconvenient truth is that the retrofitting of properties that are sub-C (whether rented or owner-occupied) will most definitely need to be done.”
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