Landlords have claimed this morning that the government’s ambition to see all rented properties raised to an energy rating of band C or above by 2030 is a ‘pipedream’ unless upgrades are backed with financial and practical support rather than rhetoric.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says so far just five percent of properties within the private rented sector (PRS) have been upgraded, a situation not helped by the ill-fated Green Homes Grant.
The government has committed to upgrade as many PRS homes as possible to an EPC band C by 2030, ‘where practical, cost-effective and affordable’.
But the NRLA says in order to persuade more landlords to upgrade their properties to get onboard the tax system must be reformed and a scrappage system introduced to incentivise landlords to replace leaky windows to at least a double-glazed alternative.
A higher proportion of properties in the sector have no double glazing than any other tenure.
But the main reason landlords are not upgrading their properties is that energy efficiency upgrade work cannot offset against tax as repair and maintenance and can only be offset as an ‘improvement’ at sale against CGT.
Also, the latest English Housing Survey reveals that a third of private rented sector housing was built before 1919, the hardest to treat and which accounts for a larger proportion of the PRS than any other tenure.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “The Chancellor needs to develop a financial support package that works for landlords and tenants.
“This should especially be targeted at the hardest to treat properties where the cost of work will be prohibitive for landlords. In this way, he will also be doing the most to help the fuel poor.”