A leading buy-to-let blogger says landlords should ‘wait and see’ what extra grants the government offers them as the two EPC upgrade deadlines get nearer, rather than spending thousands on improvements now.
The Secret Landlord, writing in a national newspaper, reveals that their energy assessor advised ‘not to be hasty’ and dive in with expensive wall insulation and boiler replacement spend quite yet.
The blogger, who has so far remained anonymous but has written a book and penned a column for LandlordZONE, tells fellow landlords to consider whether the government is likely to offer more generous grants and modify the current £3,500 ‘cost cap’ as the 2025 deadline looms.
This is likely to happen – landlords are required to ensure their properties reach a minimum EPC grade of C by 2025 for new tenancies and by 2028 for all tenancies.
But some three-quarters of privately rented properties are below EPC Grade C and many landlords, including The Secret Landlord, face huge costs to achieve this.
As the landlord points out, the EPC system of energy assessments is illogical because it measures how much it costs to heat a property, not how much carbon it consumes.
“If [landlords] are banned from renting out their properties by this rule, landlords like me will sell up, creating a crisis in the rental sector that even this buy-to-let-bashing Government wouldn’t want,” The Secret Landlord says.
The weaknesses of the EPC system are well known within both the landlord community and the property industry. As LandlordZONE reported in July, a survey of 70 valuers by Countrywide Surveying Services found that than 30% believed EPCs were not accurate or a reliable source of efficiency, or of high quality.
And the NRLA warned earlier this year that upgrading all rented properties to an EPC ban by 2028 was a ‘pipedream’.
Read The Secret Landlord’s Telegraph piece in full (requires subscription)