Thousands of private landlords have started selling their properties ahead of government changes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations.
More than 65,000 rental properties went up for sale in the first three months of the year, 36,460 of which had an EPC rating of D or less, according to market analyst TwentyCi which collates new instruction data from estate agents.
Landlords look set to be forced to ensure all their properties have at least a C rating by 2028 or face fines of up to �30,000. Many will have to make costly changes such as installing heat pumps and double glazing, which will be particularly hard for those letting homes achieving low rents.
Some 60% of rental properties on the market had EPC ratings of D or below, up from 57% a year ago, indicating that the number of properties for sale with low energy efficiency credentials was higher than normal, according to a report in the Telegraph. Sales of C-rated properties were down by a fifth for the year.
David Hannah, group chairman at Cornerstone Tax, says under the changes to the EPC ratings for buy-to-let properties, only 0.2% of UK landlords would qualify for government funding.
'I believe getting all rental properties to a standard EPC rating of C will be far too costly for landlords, and as a result, there must be more government funding,'� adds Hannah. 'We are currently experiencing a huge demand for rental stock at a time when there is worrying undersupply, and I fear this will only worsen as more landlords look to sell. I advise landlords to work out how much it will cost them to make these changes and offset the time it will take for their investment to pay off.'�