Private Rental Trends Central Housing Group

100,000 Landlord Properties Illegal

A Prop Tech company claims that there are more than 100,000 private rental properties are being let out illegally as they fall far below the current EPC ‘dictates’.

The firm states that 106,337 PRS properties fail to meet the necessary minimum standards.

The company is highly critical of the government’s latest scheme to fund 59 councils in their ‘fight’ to improve PRS housing standards but it claims there are 281 councils that have 78% – 83,208 – PRS properties being let out illegally due to non-compliance of EPC standards.

The firm also claims that the 59 funded councils only accounts for 23,129 ‘illegally let out’ properties across the UK.

A spokesperson for the Prop Tech firm, says: “With inefficient properties identified as a major driver of UK emissions it’s vital that local authorities work with the private rental sector to find cost effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of all illegally let rental properties.

“This will be all the more important if the proposed increase in Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards does go ahead and increase to grade C.”

The spokesperson also asks whether the latest funding is providing value for money for the taxpayers.

However the spokesperson does back the government’s new funding pledge of £5,000 grants for the switching to heat pumps which is seen as a welcome step forward and says:  “…… but at an average cost of around £10,000, and an average reduction in annual carbon emissions of around 2.6 tonnes per property, the cost to reduce emissions by a single tonne is £3,846. Ensuring that landlords meet existing laws is a much more cost effective approach.

“If the identified properties in just these 59 councils improved to just the minimum standard we’d reduce our carbon footprint by around 32,150 tonnes. At a total cost of £4.3m this delivers a cost per tonne reduction of under £134, a far more effective use of funds than heat pump subsidies.

The de-carbonisation of heating is a vitally important step towards Net Zero, but it’s not the only one we need to take. The government should take another look at the high impact, low cost opportunity to enforce its own laws.”

The firm names the five top councils with highest number of non-compliant landlord properties.

1.    Cornwall (to receive support from the fund) 3,693 properties
2.    Birmingham (not included in funding) 2,119 properties
3.    Liverpool (to receive support from the fund) 1,803 properties
4.    Northumberland (not included in funding) 1,505 properties
5.    Shropshire (not included in funding) 1,423 properties

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