Keats Lettings Haslemere, along with many other UK letting agents, are speaking out about plans to improve the energy performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C. The proposal from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy recommends the improvements for all new tenancies by 2025 and existing tenancies by 2028.
Under current regulations the minimum energy performance standard is an EPC Band E for domestic rented properties. The proposal could impact on buy-to-let landlords, due to the volume of properties that would need to be upgraded.
Rita Tinney, Keats Director commented: “‘We are all aware that Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are aiming to raise the bar to Band ‘D’ by 2025 and then to Band ‘C’ by 2030, but to attempt to bring this forwards with a massive jump to Band ‘C’ by 2025 will add even more expense onto the shoulders of already hard pressed landlords.
“In a year when most landlords have had to cope with reduced income due to tenants being unable to pay the full rent, this is not a sensible way forward. While we all appreciate the need to cut our carbon footprint and care for the environment for the benefit of future generations, the government seems to have only considered appeasing environmental pressure groups and not given any thought to the impact on the already overburdened private rental sector.”
Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, has also spoken out and he commented: “As you can imagine there are a number of properties where this will impact significantly on landlords in some areas where the cost of energy improvements could be high.
“Landlords may also be concerned at the increased costs they may face, especially as some may have issues with rent arrears from their tenants who have been impacted by coronavirus – but ‘don’t panic’ is my clear message.
“At this stage the government has announced its intention and issued a consultation process, everyone involved with the PRS has until the end of December 2020 to have their say and submit a response to the consultation; so don’t suffer in silence this is your opportunity to have your say on this topic.”
Agents are encouraged to submit their response here or by emailing PRStrajectoryConsultation@beis.gov.uk.
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