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Looming EPC changes already skewing the buy-to-let market, claims finance boss

sedgwick paragon mortgages stress testing

The Government's plans to force landlords to upgrade their properties to a minimum '�C' energy efficiency standard is already affecting how rental properties are being purchased, the boss of a big money firm has claimed.

Louisa Sedgwick, Commercial Director at Paragon Bank (main picture), says her firm's poll of some 1,200 landlords has revealed that a quarter have already sought rental properties to purchase only if they already meet the likely minimum MEES certificate due to be introduced or require some work to get them to reach it.

Also, nearly two thirds of landlords said they would factor in the new EPC rules when buying future homes to rent.

Under the Government proposals, new rental tenancies will require a minimum EPC of C by April 2025, with all tenancies meeting that standard by 2028.

Two years

But it is over two years since the proposals were announced and Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recently hinted that their implementation will be delayed.

Nevertheless, Paragon says the proposals are influencing landlords' business strategies more broadly with nearly two thirds having taken some form of action as a result.

This includes 20% having already made improvements to bring a property's EPC rating up to C or above while a similar proportion are in the process of retrofitting their properties with energy-saving measures to increase the EPC rating to C or above.

Upgrade work

Approximately 10% of landlords said they had sold properties rather than pay for upgrade work while 7% said their properties would never make a '�C' certificate.

'Michael Gove's recent comments mean it's looking increasingly likely that any new PRS energy efficiency standards will be delayed,'� says Sedgwick.

'Nevertheless, it's encouraging to see landlords are already building on the progress made over the last decade in making privately rented homes more sustainable.'� 

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