The Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility has acknowledged that the financial burden of green upgrades for homes falls more heavily on landlords than homeowners.

When quizzed during a Lords debate on raising standards in the sector, Lord Callanan admitted: “There are a number of financial packages private landlords letting to low-income tenants can take advantage of, but it’s true that there’s a dilemma in the PRS that the investment is made by landlords and the benefit is gained by tenants in terms of lower fuel bills.”

Peers picked up on yesterday’s report from the public accounts committee which slated the government’s green homes grant scheme, which shut prematurely earlier this year.

It said this had badly underperformed, only upgraded about 47,500 homes out of the 600,000 originally planned and risked damaging future efforts to deliver net zero.

Not convinced

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb said she was not convinced the department had fully acknowledged the extent of the scheme’s failure, and suggested: “If you don’t understand how badly you’ve failed, how are you ever going to deliver this green stuff that you clearly don’t understand?”

Lord Callanan insisted that it had learnt the lessons of the green homes grant fiasco and was taking that forward in initiatives such as the boiler upgrade scheme.

But he didn’t fully answer Baroness Thornhill’s question, asking for reassurance that the “failed one size fits all funding systems we’ve had previously won’t be repeated and local authorities will have more genuine autonomy to meet local need”.

Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick also queried when we could expect a new long-term strategy so homeowners and landlords wouldn’t discover later down the line that they would need to undertake further work to meet changed standards.

Lord Callanan did provide an update on the government’s consultation in the summer about raising energy performance standards of rented properties to EPC band C by 2028. He added: “We will publish our response to that shortly.”

16 COMMENTS

  1. When is ‘shortly’? The consultation closed in January 2021, the 2025/8 deadlines are closing in on us and LLs have no confirmation of what we are going to be asked to do.

    How are we supposed to plan or finance improvements that have yet to be announced, especially with another change in the EPC assessment due next year?

    The Govt might be running the country by jumping from one idea to another without planning or budgeting but LLs & tenants need clarity before any ‘improvements’ can be made.

    If a business was run they way this Govt runs the country is would be bust already!

    • If a business was run the way that ANY of our Governments run the Country, they’d all go under.

      However, just as much fault lies with the outdated Civil Service.

  2. If the government enforce the EPC to grade C suggestion no one wins. Landlords will exit the sector, those that don’t will be forced to make the changes (if possible) . The costs of these changes will then be passed onto tenants. So the improvements will save the tenants £100 per year if they’re lucky and their rent will increase by £1500 per year. Massive hikes in rent , and only the most affluent tenants with spotless credit will be able to rent .
    Loss of revenue in tax for the government, increased homelessness and no real impact from the supposed green initiative as not enough properties will have any changes made.

    • Totally agree with you idiot.

      We LL should sell our dud properties to dopey FTB and dumb LL.
      They can then suffer the inordinate expense of improving these dud properties to EPC C status.

      They won’t achieve any additional capital appreciation.

      For most LL of these dud properties selling up makes far more sense.

      LL don’t care if tenants are made homeless because of dopey Govt policies.

      LL have to consider their business viability first.

      Retaining dud property simply isn’t worth it.

      ]There will be millions of homeless tenants in the coming years.p
      That will have all bern caused by dopey Govt.

      Rental property at EPC D is perfectly acceptable.

      Most LL can achieve EPC D.
      But E status just requires too much unviable. works.

      Just isn’t worth LL carrying out such works.

      Few LL will be interested in buying sub C status properties.

      The big problem is these dud properties are mostly unaffordable for the existing occupiers which is why they are tenants].

      So they will be evicted so that those who wish to buy these dud properties may do so.

      Most LL with sub C status properties know they have lemons and will be seeking to sell off to any variety of mugs.

      There are plenty out there.

      The mere idea that any LL letting a property less than EPC C status is letting an inadequate property is for the birds!

      LL have been letting perfectly acceptable properties.

      Tenants know the status of the properties.

      Nobody forces them to sign an AST.

  3. We really cant afford any more expenditure. Our rent is really low £530 per month for a 2 bed house with a garage. According to the last EPC our house has grown in area, although no extensions have been built. We queried the person who compliled the EPC, and his parent company and they simply don’t want to know. How on earth are we to believe the results, and how are we supposed supposed to survive? The rent also contributes to our living costs. By the way, also contacted our MP who also does not want to know, was told to get in touch with a charity that supports people on benefits!!!!! Unbelievable!. PLEASE LETS ALL GET TOGETHER TO FIGHT THIS. I AM CERTAINLY WILLING TO DO MY BIT. Beryl

    • The EPCs are almost random & change with each assesment. My property apparently shrunk in size by 20% in a year!!!! And because the top secret EPC algorithm calculates efficiency as kWhr/m2, my property is now deemed less efficient & has a lower “point” score – a band lower than neighbouring properties which have less insulation, poorer heating etc. Landlords have no way of knowing if their property will be in the required band from one EPC to the next. And when you take into account constantly changing EPC standards & targets set by the government, the whole thing is pot luck as to whether you can let a property of not. Madness.

  4. Conservative governments are supposed to believe in free markets, but the current Government seems quite happy to adopt irrational populist policies and get involved in high levels of state interference. We have a Labour government in all but name, and the Labour Party in government, which looks like an increasingly likely worst nightmare scenario, would be even more dictatorial. EPCs are a lottery – inconsistent, irrational, unreliable – and often cosy, energy efficient, cost effective to run homes fall under a D when similar properties somehow fall under C, and often the recommendations to get to a C are mindnumbingly stupid. Landlords face worse discrimination than other sub-sets of society, but it’s not illegal. It’s disgraceful to treat us so unfairly in the name of such a questionable initiative.

  5. I am already selling . Even if they extend deadlines or even change their minds I no longer have trust in what ever government is in to believe I will not be in the future hit hardest than any other sector for tax and legislation changes. Tenants loose out at end of day. ‘Cos I’ll pay the costs to get out and sleep at night. Not necessarily in this country.

  6. I am 90% certain I will have to sell up as I can not afford to put the EPC up to a C ,
    House roof design would not support solar panels either even if they was given away free.
    I can not afford outdoor insulation at all .
    Rooms and stairway are not big enough to put interior insulation (it is solid wall 3 bed semi).
    underfloor insulation and exterior is way to expensive for me my rent is my only income which is £600 per month idea was to put together with my pension.
    This is the most unfair new regulation ever ,it will cause a lot of landlords like myself to sell up adding to the homeless numbers.
    I have been in touch with MPs and local councilors in area of my property seems to me nobody has any answers to any of my questions.
    I live in Wales my property is in England ,I was told Welsh news on TV a few days ago it was said the Welsh councils are looking into buying freehold from landlords to put tenants in to bring down housing shortage I presume.
    I haven’t seen any petition to get signatures nothing would happily sign anything to help the situation.

  7. aww poor private landlords… my heart bleeds.
    tbh its about time they were forced to shape up or ship out. thinking its ok to milk tenants for as much as possible renting them some cold expensive to heat crap homes for double what the mortgage costs.
    waa epc is wrong my place is cosyyy.. sure mate.

    • David, every so often I read a comment which is so truly ignorant it takes my breath away. Congratulations, today your comment is the most breathtaking. What an absolutely clueless comment, clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.
      As has been stated in previous comments, if Landlords don’t know what the energy efficiency of their property really is due to the amateurish and random EPC system then how are they supposed to plan or budget for the new and ridiculous EPC level C and without any Govt assistance? All that will happen is that even more Landlords will bail out of the PRS in short order and tenants will have even less choices to rent but with higher rents if they can even find a place to rent.
      Due to these stupid Govt regulations I’m pushing up my rents as quickly and as highly as I can, already up 50% in last 2 years. My properties are all Victorian terrace and will be difficult and expensive to get to EPC-C.
      I have several houses in good areas of Bristol, they are worth 500k each and I never have a problem to rent them out, they will also sell very well.
      Most Landlords can sell, most Tenants still need to rent, ultimately it’s the tenants who will suffer the most.
      David, maybe it’s time for you to get a new brain!

      • level C isnt a ridiculous high rating and it reeks of landlords not wanting to do the work required to reach it.
        these places can be sold to FTB who can then use the savings they make from not renting to go towards upgrading their homes.
        will there be less homes to rent? yes. but what else will give the government a kick in the butt to start building homes again.

  8. David,
    Thanks for your insightful comment.
    I assume you are a renter and thus are blissfully ignorant of the costs your landlords has to shoulder, regardless of your petty jealousy of someone who takes a business risk to make income for their family.
    So, when thousands of landlords “ship out” of the market as you so desperately wish, and demand even further exceeds supply, what do you think will happen to your rent? Will it go down, stay the same or – hang on a minute… Bang. That is the sound of the bullet hitting your foot.

  9. Lol David. Why not bug a place of your own if you think that. You can then repair it yourself, change your own light bulbs, and tidy up you own garden. As well ensure your EPC rating is at leat a c or even better an a.

  10. The EPC system is based on old an EU regulation (nuff said??) which was slipped into our law about 15 years ago. It is designed to keep occupants’/tenants’ fuel bills low. It now seems to be being used as a measure of “greenness”. No wonder it doesn’t work. The process is also irrational We all have horror stories. I heard the other day of a husband and wife who were both EPC assessors and who assessed the same house on consecutive days and arrived at different Bands. The EPC system is so “unfit for purpose” that the only hope is to tear it up and produce a totally new scheme with a different name. .

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