Landbay: Majority of landlords plan to press ahead with EPC improvements despite Gove’s call for delay

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Despite recent hints by housing secretary Michael Gove that the proposed date for all landlords to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C could be delayed, over a third of landlords say that they will act as soon as they can.

In an article for the Sunday Telegraph, Gove said the government was asking ‘too much too quickly’ and suggested it should ‘relax the pace’ of reforms expected from landlords. It follows proposals by ministers for all rented properties to achieve an EPC rating of C or higher by 2028.

His comments come as new data from Landbay reveals that the majority of landlords with properties with an EPC rating of D or below plan to make changes to reach at least a C, with many aiming for as soon as possible.

The findings from Landbay’s quarterly survey found that 65% have properties rated D, E, F or G. However, 34% plan to make improvements to reach C as soon as they can. 39% shared the same intention but planned to wait until nearer 2028 and the government’s current proposed deadline.

In a previous survey conducted by Landbay last summer, it was less than a third (27%) that planned more immediate action to increase EPC ratings.

Meanwhile, awareness of the government’s proposal has remained consistent, with 78% of landlords aware of the plans in the latest survey – 79% in August last year. Since that survey, the proposal has changed to bring the 2025 deadline for new tenancies in line with 2028.

Nonetheless, it still remains a contentious issue, with some landlords set to spend thousands of pounds to bring properties up to standard, on top of rising costs in the current climate. Government analysis suggests that for the majority of privately rented homes, energy efficiency improvements will cost between £5,000 and £9,999.

Paul Brett, Landbay’s managing director, intermediaries said: “The government’s proposal remains just that – a proposal and the can have been kicked down the road a couple of times already with the change to 2028 being the latest. If Michael Gove’s comments are anything to go by, we could yet see further movement to the timeline.

“In spite of this, it’s very encouraging to see the majority of landlords with lower-rated properties planning to make improvements, especially the strong proportion pledging to as soon as they can. If Gove does get his way, it will be interesting to see how these results change – if at all.”

Article first appeared in Property Reporter

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