High number of rented homes unlikely to achieve new EPC targets

Some 40% of privately rented homes in England are unlikely to achieve the energy efficiency rating target that is due to come into force later this decade.

Propertymark has analysed data from the latest English Housing Survey which shows in the eight years to 2020 the number of homes in the PRS with an EPC ‘C’ rating rose from 19% to 39%.

If that increase is replicated forward to 2028, it will rise to 60%.

The UK government has yet to respond to a consultation it held in 2020 on how to improve the energy performance of the PRS. The draft strategy includes a ‘preferred policy scenario’ for new tenancies to have a valid EPC rating of ‘C’ or above by 2025, extending to all tenancies by 2028.

A Private Members’ Bill with the same requirements was introduced by Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale in May.

England’s 4.4million privately rented homes make up 19% of the country’s total housing stock, the second largest tenure, so will be vital in supporting the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

According to the English Housing Survey, 68% of housing association homes are currently rated at ‘C’ or above, compared to 61% of council homes and 42% of those owner-occupied.

Propertymark is calling for the UK government to move away from a one-size-fits-all policy in favour of energy efficiency proposals that consider a property’s age, condition, and size rather than its tenure.

Propertymark’s Lagging Behind report highlights the variances in retrofitting costs based on individual characteristics and regional property values. It includes proposals for local councils to develop ‘one stop shops’ to engage with landlords to find suitable methods to facilitate retrofit at pace which has also been recommended by stakeholders such as the Local Government Association.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, commented: “We knew it would be a huge challenge for the PRS to achieve the proposed 2028 target because the owners of rental properties will not directly benefit from lower energy bills, so where is their incentive? The data in the English Housing Survey shows just how far there is to go.

“The new UK government should take heed of this projected shortfall if it is serious about net zero, and against the backdrop of the huge sums of money it has had to commit in the short-term to help householders with their rising bills amid the cost-of-living crisis.

“Our member agents are already seeing rental properties disappearing from the market for a variety of reasons and there is a real danger more could go with the EPC rating target hanging over them.

“Propertymark supports moves to improve the energy efficiency of property types and will continue to lobby for a national retrofit strategy with realistic, fair and achievable targets alongside dedicated, long-term grants that consider each property’s individual characteristics.”



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  1. CountryLass

    I’m sorry, but I think these EPC minimums are going to be a joke. How is it fair to force Landlords to have a high minimum, but there is no level for a private owner, or for a property to be sold? My own property is a D rating, a quick search of the register shows the ones around me to be the same. But when I get to some of the historic villages, or farmhouses/barn conversions that make up most of my stock? They will never be a C rating, simply because the Landlord either does not have £10k to spend on a solar panel/wind turbine set-up, or is not allowed to have one.

    1. undercover agent

      You’re missing the point, they don’t what normal people to be landlords.

  2. A W

    Yea… it’s not law yet.

    Lets say 4.5 million rented homes and 30% of those do not meet requirements, that’s 1.35 MILLION homes that can no longer be let. In the midst of the worst housing crisis in this countries history, I find it hard to believe that the government is dumb enough to go through with it…  but they are pretty dumb so who knows.

    Landlords are not going to spend thousands to refurb old properties, they’ll likely just sell instead.

  3. singingagent

    A lot of older Council houses were sold off under “Right to Buy” and Housing Associations have built a lot of new houses over past 30 years, so it is no surprise that they have less properties above Band C.  Their properties are mainly located in towns and cities, so have mains gas heating systems, which give them a one band advantage over houses in rural areas without mains gas.

    Victorian houses and Georgian stone farmhouses are very difficult to upgrade beyond E or D without spoiling the character of the property and dry-lining the external walls cannot be done without temporary rehousing the tenants.  Very difficult, even with their cooperation and costly, so unless they retain exemptions based on price, Landlords of old properties will just sell up.


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