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.

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A higher proportion of properties in the sector have no double glazing than any other tenure.

Tax block

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.

furlough

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.”

Read the official guidance on EPC upgrades.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The main reason I am not upgrading my properties is not that I can’t set it against tax but that the actual cost is prohibitive; the disruption to tenants is unbearable and the outcome on the EPC is unpredictable. The powers that be do not seem to understand that party wall & under floor insulation are hugely disruptive, costly and ultimately save pennies on the pound and so therefore a non-starter for many. In addition, the ‘green’ subsidies heaped on our electricity bills mean the greenest fuel available to us is expensive and so pulls an EPC right down. All the insulation in the world will not get a property an EPC C unless there is GCH – and yet we are supposed to be removing gas boilers from our properties! My solution? I will be selling 7 out of 11 properties and I believe many others will be selling up too.

  2. I think the government will have 2 options

    1 ) insist on the EPC at Grade C and watch a mass exodus from the PRS

    2) get real and recognise that forcing this issue onto the minority of properties ie the PRS doesn’t make sense and will cause far more issues than the potential green benefits. Drop the project ot make it appropriate to property type

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