Eco-Improvements Central Housing Group

Eco-Improvements Demanded By Tenants

A small survey by a bank suggests that almost 100% of buy to let investors surveyed have received requests from tenants for some form of sustainable eco-improvements in the past 12 months.

Handelsbanken commissioned research in March 2024 through independent research company Pure Profile among a panel of 200 property investors across the UK.

According to the findings, 92% of investors reported tenants asking for sustainable eco-improvements such as heat pumps, solar generation or EV chargers – with over a quarter (28%) requesting the latter.

Furthermore, three in five tenants (58%) have requested properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C, with this rising to 88% of tenants in London amid high energy costs.

“Our customers are seeing tremendous demand from tenants for sustainable properties that can help reduce both their environmental footprint and their utility bills” says Lisa Robey of Handelsbanken. “It’s important to note that landlords who invest in green features are not only meeting this demand, but also future-proofing their assets.”

Current government regulations in England require all residential and commercial rental properties to have an EPC rating of E or above before being let to tenants, with previous plans to raise the minimum EPC rating to C for existing residential rentals by 2028 scrapped in September of last year.

While a quarter of respondents have cut the amount they planned to invest following this announcement, a substantial proportion (44%) are continuing with their original investment plans.

Richard Winder, UK head of sustainability at Handelsbanken, says: “Property investors are clearly recognising the long-term value of maximising energy efficiency across their portfolios, and are eager to meet the highest sustainability standards to capitalise on the commercial benefits. Locking in value, reducing operating costs, and attracting and retaining tenants are all front of mind for investors – research suggests that assets with the highest EPC ratings enjoy considerably longer lease lengths.”

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