It appears that there may be months more uncertainty over new energy efficiency rules for the private rental sector.
A statement from the National Residential Landlords Association over the weekend says its chief executive met with a government minister and discovered that a long-awaited update on New EPC deadlines would happen “before Christmas”.
The association’s Ben Beadle had a private meeting with Energy Efficiency Minister Lord Callanan to express landlords’ frustration at a lack of movement, following a consultation on plans to introduce new minimum Energy Performance Certificate ratings more than two years ago.
As most landlords will know, the government wants a minimum rating of C for privately rented homes from 2025 for new tenancies )that’s under 18 months from now) and 2028 for all others.
Beadle says he raised landlords’ uncertainty and nervousness over the timescales, and their fear that a cap on improvement works at £10,000 per property might create huge bills for those landlords with the most problematic properties.
“Landlords are not the ‘fat cats’ the media would make us out to be, with almost 70 per cent basic rate taxpayers. However £10,000 also has a different value depending where in the country you and your portfolio are based” says Beadle.
“If you have a property in central London and are charging market rent, £10,000 is still a lot of money. However if you are in somewhere like the North East, where property values and rents are significantly lower, it’s a staggering amount.
“To support landlords in areas of low property values, we have asked for some kind of tapering to any cap that’s introduced to reflect that, an idea the Minister appeared to be receptive to.
“Reflecting comments made to me by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, he confirmed there is cross departmental work going on to come up with a way forward.”
“He also reassured me the Government is aware there is an impact on landlords caused by the delays to the announcement, and understands the need for clarity – reiterating that there will be movement on the consultation response before Christmas.”
The NRLA has been campaigning for a definitive and realistic timetable for work, and a tapering cap on costs based on property values.
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