Ministers are considering a punitive scheme to fine landlords up to £30,000 if they fail to upgrade their properties to a minimum band C by an extended deadline of 2028 instead of the current 2025.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero had previously proposed a deadline of 2025 for newly-let rentals to achieve an energy performance rating of at least C, and a deadline of 2028 for all other rented properties.
But now all rental properties will have to reach the minimum standard by 2028, it is claimed.
This adds fuel to an already flammable debate over how landlords are expected to pay for upgrading properties, particularly in areas where the circa £10,000 to £15,000 costs of meeting the EPC minimum represents a considerable chunk of the bricks and mortar’s value and/or annual rental income - particularly outside London and the SE.
If true, the proposals would see some two million landlords forced to upgrade their properties even though the maximum spend cap will be set at £10,000.
This cap, which was originally £3,500, is the upper limit of expenditure that landlords will be expected to fork out to upgrade properties without being banned form renting them out – or £6,500 more upfront than before.
Read more: 2025 EPC deadline causing confusion.
It is reported that discussions had been held with stakeholders on the proposals, but ‘no decision has yet been made’.
Rik Smith, Head of Tenancy services at rent guarantee platform Goodlord, says: “I'm sure the sector will welcome the proposed extended deadline to get properties up to standard, but there's an enormous amount to do before then.”