Research ahead of proposed reforms to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard regulation has revealed that two-fifths of landlords believe it’s important to meet the proposed EPC requirements as they’re good for the environment.
New research from Mortgage Advice Bureau, has found that 41% of landlords believe that, outside of legal obligations, new EPC requirements are important for the environment and will help the UK to tackle the climate change crisis.
A further 34% believe that upgrading their properties’ EPC ratings will have a net benefit to the UK’s carbon emissions targets.
Under the proposed changes, rental properties will need an EPC rating of at least C by 2028, with an earlier deadline of 2025 for new tenancies. For landlords, it is a race against time. Whilst 30% are confident they’ll reach the deadline with ease, 46% admitted it will be by the skin of their teeth as they retrofit properties.
Alongside landlords’ own desire to reduce their properties’ impact on the environment, tenant demand is also a key factor. 31% of landlords believe the upgrades will make their properties more attractive by lowering tenants’ bills.
17% of landlords have been asked if the property they are letting is energy efficient, and 16% have been asked specifically about the EPC rating. Looking at this in more detail, 17% have been asked whether they’ll be installing heating controls, 16% about installing a smart meter, and 15% about getting double or triple window glazing.
However, the push towards more energy-efficient properties doesn’t come without some concerns. The costs of making all the necessary upgrades (27%) and finding a trusted tradesperson (27%) are both key concerns for landlords, alongside the disruption it may cause tenants (23%).
Ben Thompson, Deputy CEO at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Landlords seem to be working with a lot of information in terms of regulations and deadlines that aren't quite set in stone, yet the 2025 countdown remains for EPC rating improvements. The good news is, many landlords are making progress, despite some challenges.
“There are some very clear and urgent motivations behind making this change. Tackling the ongoing climate crisis is at the forefront of many of our minds, and for landlords and the future of their portfolios, being able to help tenants navigate the economic climate of high energy bills is key.
“While many already have plans in place, concerns and an element of confusion remain. Exactly what landlords are working to, and by when must be clarified as soon as possible, and this must be accompanied by support to help landlords improve EPC ratings.”