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EPC upgrade rules may lead to landlords leaving, admits 'net zero' minister


A government minister has admitted that landlords could quit the market unless upcoming changes to EPC rules are implemented carefully.

In a Lords debate to discuss the challenges of achieving net zero, Lord Callanan, Under Secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said it was simple and straightforward to pass a regulation to improve the performance of the PRS.

However, he added: 'If the net result of that is a net loss of privately rented accommodation, particularly in poorer parts of the country, there are many people who want that accommodation and we will not have gained anything.'�


The government has been repeatedly criticised for failing to respond to its consultation into the subject in 2020. In January 2021, it proposed a target that all new tenancies in the private rented sector should be in a property with an energy performance rating of at least a C by 2025 - extended to cover all tenancies in the sector by 2028.

Lord Foster of Bath urged the government to put landlords out of their misery. 'How much longer must landlords wait to know exactly what the government want them to do to improve the energy efficiency of the privately rented sector?'� he asked.

The private rented sector has no hope of meeting the deadline to improve EPC ratings, according to the NRLA. Speaking on Radio 4'�s You and Yours programme, representative Richard Blanco said 2028 would be a more realistic target.

'We need an extra three years. There will be lots of challenges. Often the solution is external insulation which won'�t be allowed in some areas. You can have loft insulation, LED lighting and thermostats on radiators but you might still not get from a D to a C.'�

The government says it will respond to its consultation 'in due course'�.


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