Landlords still making EPC upgrades

Despite the government’s decision to abandon proposals for minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), many landlords are still taking proactive steps to make their properties more environmentally friendly. Here’s a summary of the key points:

  1. Landlord Initiatives: Paragon Bank’s research indicates that 37% of portfolio landlords are actively investing in upgrading their properties to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above. This demonstrates a commitment to improving energy efficiency standards despite the absence of regulatory requirements.
  2. Existing Compliance: Nearly one in three landlords (32%) already own properties that meet the previously proposed EPC C standard. This suggests that a significant portion of landlords have already taken steps to ensure their properties meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines.
  3. Response to Government Policy: While some landlords are taking proactive measures, others are waiting for renewed government initiatives on energy efficiency before making improvements. However, a notable percentage (10%) stated that the scrapped regulations wouldn’t affect their strategy.
  4. Encouraging Trends: Paragon’s managing director of mortgages, Richard Rowntree, highlights the positive trend of landlords enhancing their properties for higher energy efficiency standards, despite regulatory changes being shelved. This reflects a commitment among landlords to improve the quality of rented homes for tenants.
  5. Government Policy Impact: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement regarding the shelving of MEES changes has prompted landlords to reassess their plans. The proposed changes would have mandated a minimum EPC C rating for all new tenancies by April 2025, with a wider rollout to all tenancies by 2028.
  6. Sector Comparison: Government data suggests that the private rented sector (PRS) is already ahead of owner-occupied homes in terms of energy efficiency. As of 2022, 45% of PRS properties have an EPC rating of A to C, compared to 43% of owner-occupied homes.

Overall, the research highlights both the proactive measures taken by landlords to improve energy efficiency and the ongoing influence of government policy decisions on the rental sector’s approach to sustainability.

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