Over 25% of landlords are unaware of their properties' EPC ratings

Over a quarter of landlords (27%) don’t currently know the EPC rating of their properties, revealed new data from Shawbrook Bank.

The bank’s ‘Confronting the EPC Challenge’ report — based on a survey of 1,000 UK landlords conducted by Opinium — also showed that 23% of respondents have properties with EPC ratings of D or below.

Older homes are more likely to have a lower EPC rating and require improvement, as 30% of landlords with Victorian era houses in their portfolio said they were rated D or below.

Under new proposed regulations, landlords may be required to increase their properties’ energy efficiency to EPC C by 2025 for all new tenancies, and 2028 for existing ones.

However the report revealed that two in ten landlords don’t currently have the necessary funds required to refurbish their properties.

This is particularly the case with older landlords aged over 55, a quarter of which said that they’re lacking finance to make changes to their houses in line with the proposed new requirements.

According to Shawbrook Bank, this could lead to landlords being unable to rent their properties and being left with homes that are unmortgageable and therefore unsellable.

In order to improve their properties ahead of the proposed deadline, landlords have expressed the need for support from the government and industry.

Almost half of respondents said they’d benefit from guidance on what the EPC legislation means specifically for landlords, while 37% want to see incentives to make changes, such as favourable borrowing rates.

In addition, a third of participants surveyed called for guidance on timings on how to phase the implementation of changes, and 29% wanted to see signposting to suppliers who could help them make improvements to their properties. 

The same proportion also wanted to receive guidance on how to manage tenants during the renovation process.

Landlords were also interested in speaking with other landlords about the issue, with 21% looking for a communal space to discuss problems and share solutions. 

In response to this, Shawbrook has established a working group of industry professionals, landlords and policy makers together to find possible shared solutions to the challenge.

Emma Cox, sales director at Shawbrook Bank (pictured above), comments: “Improving the energy efficiency of properties is a vital step in reducing our impact on the environment — however, this will not necessarily be a straightforward process for landlords. 

“The UK has a significant proportion of older properties that are particularly challenging to improve, and many landlords remain in the dark as to their houses’ current ratings.

“Landlords will require further support from both the industry and the government in order to make the changes in good time. 

“Indeed, with the cost of labour and supplies rising, it could be a costly exercise for all landlords, but there are solutions available.

“It is in everyone’s interest that properties are made more energy efficient, but this cannot be done half-heartedly, and we must ensure sufficient resources are provided so that landlords can make the appropriate changes to benefit their properties and their tenants.

“We hope that our forthcoming working group provides a space for landlords and the wider industry to share ideas and solutions to confront this challenge, and we look forward to sharing the findings in the coming weeks and months.”

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