Private landlords in the UK have increased the number of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated properties in the private rented sector (PRS) by 165% in the past decade, according to analysis by Paragon Bank.
The bank’s report, Raising the standards of privately rented property, revealed that 44.5% of PRS properties are rated A-C, compared with 42.9% of owner-occupied homes.
The report also highlighted that landlords have been investing in more energy-efficient properties ahead of proposed legislation on minimum A-C requirements.
However, if the government’s proposed 2025 EPC deadline were introduced, 4,500 homes would need upgrading per working day.
The report also found that there has been a reduction in the number of properties classed as non-decent, falling from 1.4 million to 990,000, a 29% reduction.
Paragon Bank managing director of mortgages, Richard Rowntree, urged the government to provide more clarity on minimum EPC requirements and to support local authorities in identifying poor quality properties and landlords.
The private rented sector is too often associated with poor quality housing and that is simply incorrect. Landlords have driven an improvement in standards in recent years, which is reflected in the increase in energy efficient rental property.
“However, landlords and the broader industry that serves the private rented sector now need more clarity on the Government’s proposals for minimum levels of EPCs.
“It is over two years since the Government’s consultation closed and the vacuum of information or direction since has created uncertainty and confusion.
“We believe the timescales as they are currently proposed are unworkable as the infrastructure to support the upgrading of over 2 million properties in such a short window does not exist.”
He added: “The good work of landlords in providing quality homes to millions of tenants should be recognised and celebrated. However, a sludge of property still fails to meet the required grade and we would urge Government to support Local Authorities in weeding out poor quality property and landlords that aren’t up to scratch.
“Paragon supports the Government’s aims set out in the Renters Reform Bill to raise the standard of property and to introduce a property portal to ensure information is available to all. A more transparent market will be to the benefit of tenants, landlords and lenders.”