Government pushing for EPCs on property portals
- Published: Tuesday 26 January, 2021
- By: Commercial Trust
In 2018 it was introduced that private rented properties must meet the minimum level of Energy Efficiency standard – EPC band E.
The government has recently come under fire from Propertymark, the trade group for letting agents, for proposing some changes to this legislation that they believe are unrealistic.
The government recently concluded a consultation on this legislation, to assess its viability.
It would require all new tenancies from April 2025 to have an EPC rating of C or higher, two levels above the current minimum requirement.
Propertymark has endorsed these plans, however, it has also highlighted some concerns around the legislation.
One key point that Propertymark has highlighted is the requirement for letting agents and property portals, such as Zoopla and Rightmove, to only advertise and let properties that are compliant with these new rules.
They point out:
“Private landlords cannot advertise directly on property portals, so based on the consultation document which states that around 43 per cent of landlords use a letting agent to either let or let and manage a property for them, this means the UK Government is focusing a large proportion of it is future enforcement activity and compliance on less than half of the sector.”
There are also issues surrounding exemptions. Exemptions can be offered where the cost of improving the property to a level E is too great or, where improvements have been made, but the rating has not improved.
The trade group has also highlighted that the targets set out by the government are unrealistic and impractical for some properties, due to age.
“For instance, Wales has the oldest private rented dwelling stock in the UK, with 43 per cent built before 1919. Furthermore, too large a proportion of existing privately rented stock requires significant improvements to meet the C rating, which would reduce the amount of housing stock available to rent.”
They have advised the UK Government to set shorter incremental targets for energy efficiency, or they risk losing a large portion of viable rental property as landlords will have no choice but to sell.
Another vital point that Propertymark has raised, surrounds the enforcement of these EPC regulations.
They have cited that local councils will be lacking in capacity, to enforce these standards across the PRS.
They have suggested that a solution to this could be a working PRS property compliance and exemptions database, to centralise all the data surrounding EPC.
The sentiment in the landlord community is wholehearted agreement with the points that Propertymark have laid out.
With EPC updates being costly and taking time, their concerns of unrealistic and unachievable goals mirror those of Propertymark.
This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.