Landlords are increasingly buying or looking to buy properties that meet or nearly meet the Government’s looming minimum EPC rules leading to worries that homes with E or F certificates will become unsaleable.
Mortgage firm Paragon polled some 1,200 landlords who had recently bought properties or are planning to, finding that a quarter have already changed their buying criteria to ensure properties already meet the likely minimum MEES certificate due to be introduced soon or require minor changes to get them up to scratch.
The research also found that nearly two thirds of landlords will factor in EPC work when buying future homes to rent.
Tt is over two years since the EPC proposals were announced and Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recently hinted that the implementation will be delayed.
Despite the EPC policy delay, 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.
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 Louisa Sedgwick, Commercial Director at Paragon Bank.
“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.”