Energy efficiency changes could result in landlords selling off more than 50,000 rural rented homes, sparking rent increases and a worsening housing crisis.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) warns that many properties will never be able to reach the higher minimum standards proposed by government, which is likely to result in landlords selling up.

The government plans to raise the minimum energy efficiency rating from Band E to Band C for new tenancies from 2025 and for all existing tenancies from 2028, but the organisation says 12.4% of rented rural homes don’t even meet Band E, meaning that losing these from the sector would result in 51,653 fewer properties.

Meanwhile, it believes the assessment methodology continually undervalues the energy efficiency of older, off-gas grid homes.

An increase in the ‘landlords’ cap’ has also been proposed – the maximum amount of money a landlord must invest to improve a property’s energy efficient rating – from £3,500 to £10,000.

But the costs of converting properties could be prohibitive for rural landlords, says the CLA.

Even if landlords were able to find £10,000 to improve the energy efficiency rating, rent would have to increase by 6% annually for the next 15 years to recoup their investment.

The CLA adds that rural landlords are already finding it hard to access the Green Homes Grant due to a lack of rural TrustMark installers and urban accredited firms unwilling to travel to remote areas.

President Mark Bridgeman (pictured) says many members have invested significant sums on renewable options already.

“The unique challenges that affect rural properties in decarbonising seem to have been forgotten about in the new policy proposals,” he says.

“If the government are serious about decarbonising rural properties, they need to support and invest in the sector.”

The government has just finished a consultation on its EPC upgrade proposals.

4 COMMENTS

  1. So much truth in this article – I hope the powers that be are listening:
    EPC C impossible for off gas grid properties
    Loss of housing stock in the PRS
    Unfair EPC assessment
    Higher rents
    Green Homes Grant failing
    And this is not just restricted to rural areas – there are plenty of of electric only premises in towns that will suffer the same fate
    Sign my petition – search Govt petitions no. 559700

  2. “An increase in the ‘landlords’ cap’ has also been proposed – the maximum amount of money a landlord must invest to improve a property’s energy efficient rating – from £3,500 to £10,000.”

    £10,000? Really? What planet are they living on?

    This isn’t going to affect just properties in rural situations, but will force landlords to sell up. Absolutely crazy!

  3. I see the listings every day, Properties are coming up for sale every week which I know are being sold because they will prove impossible to conform to the latest EPC rules. Taken together with all the other unfair and punitive regulations being heaped on landlords including being forced to house for free people who in so many cases are just playing the system and paying nothing why would any sane person remain in the rented property sector.
    The coastal towns have a disproportionate number of ex guest houses etc., which cannot meet the latest imposition of government craziness, Jenrick is totally clueless as to the realities of the rented housing sector.

  4. That’s easy to say from the landlords point of view. Although many landlords will not own multiple properties and certainly in rural areas the oil tank and gas tank systems will never offer the same cost savings as mains and so will hinder epc ratings for them from the off.

    However if you can afford multiple homes and many landlords I know have huge portfolios of property with little regard for much more than profit. This has left the property market unobtainable for many who are forced to rent on average at double what the housing association prices are for the same type of property.

    The ex guest houses of which I’m very familiar with are earning thousands every month in rent alone. Badly chopped into flats with no central heating, cavity wall, floor insulation and often room in roof with no or little insulation at all. The noise, heat loss and moisture in these flats are hazardous to people’s health. With most of these owners having brought the property years ago for very low prices and now having no mortgage on them. Why shouldn’t they spend a few month’s worth or more of income on them to bring them up to standard for another possibly 50 years. I certainly would if I owned them.

    As for epc ratings…. Half of them I’ve been unfortunate to be associated with can only of been obtained with a back hander.
    How can a room in roof flat converted 30 years ago or more with little or no insulation, no heating of any kind installed and an electric water heater of the same age. No cavity wall filling and 30 year old double glazing. And that’s band E……

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