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'Landlords must be offered interest-free loans or grants for EPC upgrades'

cladding epcs mees

Estate agents have told politicians that Government-backed interest-free loans or grants to cover the cost of looming EPC upgrades are the only way many landlords will be able to fund the work.

The comments have been made by industry association Propertymark to an influential committee of MPs at the Welsh Sennedd as part of its inquiry into how to decarbonise the private rented sector.

Landlords in Wales and England are still waiting to hear how the changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations, which will bring in tougher EPC rules in a few years, will be implemented and funded.

The UK Government consulted on a proposal for all new tenancies to meet an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C from 1 April 2025 and existing tenancies by 1 April 2028 as part of MEES.

Also, and most controversially, it will include a higher cost cap of �10,000 which would hit Welsh properties the hardest, with the country's properties having some of the lowest property values in the UK coupled with low energy efficiency ratings.

Loans or grants

To solve this problem, which is faced by other areas of the UK too, Propertymark has recommended that the Development Bank of Wales could offer grants or interest free loans to landlords to help them decarbonise and to finance retrofit.

It also suggested that landlords buying properties in need of significant work should pay a lower stamp duty.
The industry body also called for a clear strategy to support landlords contribute towards Net Zero as current targets for different tenures was causing confusion across the sector.

'We're really pleased to see that our proposals such as the availability of interest free grants for landlords, requests for an agreed timetable and milestones for the sector, the production and inclusion of a clear decarbonisation strategy, alongside calls for the Minister to provide clarity on how she will raise awareness have all been recommended to the Welsh Government,'� says Timothy Douglas (pictured), Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark.

'We now urge the Welsh Government to act upon these recommendations and work with the UK Government to introduce policies that allow landlords and homeowners to decarbonise their homes and properties in Wales.'�

Propertymark recently predicted that some 40% of properties in England and Wales would not be upgraded to a 'C' EPC certificate in time without help.


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