The Green Homes Grant is proving a hit with landlords with just under half saying they plan to take up the government’s £5,000 cash offer, according to research by lender Paragon.
But it says landlords need to get their skates on; there are only 650,000 vouchers available to home owners whether they are landlords or not, and the vouchers must be redeemed and the work completed by 31st March next year.
The popularity of the grant among landlords is not surprising – the Covid-related scheme, which is designed to both generate economic activity and help the government reach its green targets, coincides with the new Mandatory Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) that went live on April 1st this year.
Change of tenancy
These now prevent landlords letting properties with an EPC rating of F or G even where there has been no change of tenancy, and they must now improve the property rating to E or register an exemption if they want to continue to let it.
The Green Homes Grant therefore helps landlords bypass a major stumbling block that dogged previous efforts to encourage landlords to upgrade their properties; cost.
That’s because the MEES funding rules prior to Covid capped a landlord’s spend at £3,500 and, if a property could not be brought up to an E rating at that price, then an exemption could be applied for.
The Green Homes Grant pays two-thirds of the cost of improving a property up to £5,000, with the landlords paying the rest.
Richard Rowntree, MD for mortgages at Paragon, says: “Doing this, with the help of government subsidy, benefits the landlords themselves, their tenants and the environment, so it’s a sensible move.”