The private rented sector won’t meet new energy efficiency targets unless the government stumps up more cash for any replacement to the Green Homes Grant, it has been claimed.

Latest English Housing Survey figures show that the average cost to bring a privately rented property up to EPC C is £7,646 compared to £5,979 for a social rented property, or £8,579 for owner occupiers.

The Green Homes Grant scheme provided householders and landlords with support for the cost of installing energy efficient improvements in their home. However, the government only funded up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000 under the scheme, which closed in March.

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s policy and campaigns manager, believes a long-term, costed and well-funded plan is desperately needed to encourage households and landlords to make energy efficiency improvements.

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He says the survey also clearly highlights how the Green Homes Grant scheme wasn’t offering enough support based on the proposals to improve properties to EPC Band C.

“Any revised or reintroduced scheme must be increased from £5,000 to £10,000 maximum,” says Douglas (pictured).

rent arrears

“Similarly, it is vital that the UK government move away from a one-size fits all policy and develop energy efficiency proposals that work with the different age, condition, size and location of properties across the country. This way, grants and funding support can be targeted on the architype of a property rather than its tenure.”

In December, LandlordZONE reported that the scheme hadn’t managed to recruit enough accredited tradespeople to undertake the work.

Landlords who applied for vouchers have now been told they might not be able to get work done on time; they can request an extension until 31st July and vouchers will be extended for 90 days or until 31st October, however some builders are warning they won’t be able to do the work before this deadline.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Since the GHG brought the end of scheme date forward to end of Oct 2020 my installer has already told me that my External Wall Insulation for 4 properties, for which I hold vouchers, can’t be done in the time frame. The cost of this is approx £7500 per property and without funding it is just too expensive. If EPC C comes in I will be shifting the properties to the owner-occupied sector and leaving the PRS. So….no improvement in the energy efficiency of the properties and 4 less well-maintained & otherwise fully compliant properties in the PRS. Not quite sure who gains here – certainly not my long term tenants who will lose their homes.

  2. Yet another ill thought out idea from the government. Why do the threatened changes only apply to the PRS surely if you want to have an impact you need to target the majority of properties ie the owner occupiers. This clearly won’t happen as the government couldn’t afford the loss of votes. If the government persists with this stupidity they will achieve a higher proportion of energy efficient properties in the PRS but only because the market will be considerably smaller.

    China and India still building multiple power stations are they ?

  3. I saw the writing on the wall years ago and sold off all properties that were unviable. All my properties are now C with just one D rated and that will be a simple boiler upgrade to push into C.

    During that process I took the opportunity to move my best tenants into the best properties and now I have a low risk portfolio with good tenants who are expected to be in place for years.

    During that process I reduced the portfolio, bought myself a nice new house and effectively I now have zero vacancies for the foreseeable future. For the future I will probably continue to reduce the portfolio until or unless the risks to investors in the PRS is brought back into line.

  4. These grants that the Government give are hogwash. The companies that you have to use are charging way more than it actually costs. They want yo take the free money from the Government grant and also screw the the landlord for the same amount.

  5. Tried to get a GHG but refused as could not find any supplier willing to do it under scheme. I have 1930’s terraced houses. Good condition throughout, I’m a proactive landlord with everything up together but totally impossible to bring up to C. Would need underfloor and wall insulation plus solarpanels and still would only be a D. If government don’t Uturn on one strategy fits all, I’ll have to evict lovely tenants and sell up.

  6. These figures are complete twaddle.

    Talking to a former occupant of mine who is now doing EWI work he reckons the average cost JUST for the EWI is about £10000 if you can source a builder competent to carry out the works.

    He also reckons it will only last about 15 years as it is soft stuff.

    Nowhere near resilient ad a brick wall!

    As far as I’m aware not many properties can be made EPC C status economically.

    This means LL need to sell off these dud properties.

    The payback required for just £10000 means the rental property is unviable.

    Why would a LL essentially give up on any net yield for years!?

    Time for LL to sell off to honebuyers.

    Stuff the tenants.

    Nobody gives a rat’s arse about them.

    Govt is obsessed that everyone should become a homeowner.
    It bizarrely believes that LL prevent homeownership!!

    Tenants can become millions of homeless.

    Govt really has lost the plot.

    The latest idiotic Govt action is to require all properties in the UK to be EPC C status by 2035!!!!!!!

    So for those homeowners who refuse to expend the vast sums required to make their properties EPC C status will the Govt force owners to vacate properties.

    The whole scenario is bonkers and if proceeded with would cause a banking crash and UK wide depression with mass bankruptcies.

    The pandemic response would be a minor detail compared to the Govt resources that would be required.

    This Govt is out of its tiny mind with this ridiculous EPC C status requirement.

    2028 is when ALL rental properties MUST comply with EPC C status.

    Of course there will be certain exemptions but these have to be reapplied for every so often.

    Even if I wasn’t intending to sell up I would be now in light of the EPC C status requirements.

    It simply is NOT possible for propertyowners to achieve EPC C status when the vast majority of properties cannot be improved affordably.

    The actual average costs for EPC C status are about £25000 if you include getting rid of fossil fuel boilers.

    Nobody will be affording that.

    Govt will attack LL first.

    LL with properties that can’t viably achieve EPC C status should sell the properties off to mug FTB.
    Get rid of the dud properties to them!

    Then by 2035 those FTB will apparently have to improve to EPC C status!!

    Personally I will refuse to improve my home to EPC C status.

    This Tory Govt is morphing into a Communist one far more extreme than Corbyn would ever have been !

  7. I have a portfolio of 17th/18th century cottages in a pretty Dorset village. i recently had a change of tenants, the outgoing moving into sheltered accommodation after 20 years with me — need for new EPC. Result, shambles. Inspector could only with difficulty be persuaded to look into roof space to check existence of insulation. I had to show her the hatch, provide a stepladder and steady her when she climbed it. (High heels didn’t help!). She then spent her time measuring the thickness of the insulation. And there was more to follow. The present EPC criteria are chaotic, and seem as much concerned with the tenant’s fuel bills as with minimising emissions — therefore: gas good; electricity bad! I could go on ad infinitum. i am changing over to holiday lets which do not require EPCs.

    • For the short term (next decade) changing to holiday lets will work however in my experience especially around EPC Regulation creep will mean that gradually all housing will fall under EPC’s.

      Regulation creep saw EICR become mandatory for LL, and as the country is forced over from gas to electricity then EICR will eventually apply to all housing. Govts of all shades seldom if ever roll back regulations.

      Same too for owner occupier, they too will gradually be drawn into the EPC regs. At that point LL’s will be stuck with under performing properties. At the moment landlords can sell those properties and re-invest in modern places, that opportunity will disappear once everyone is in the same EPC boat.

  8. The only way out of this situation that I can see is that the government keep in legislation the existing 7 year payback test exemption (they said in the consultation that “they were not minded to change it”).
    The consultation was also considering an affordability exemption for landlords that don’t make a lot of profit. The government need to get a move on and announce their final plans.

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