London's Renters Central Housing Group

London’s Renters Are at Risk from EPC Rule Changes

London’s renters are most at risk from finding their homes either being un-lettable or their landlord selling up due to the costs of having to upgrade their leaky homes under proposed government EPC regulations.

Research by data firm Outra says 4.5m rental properties across the UK currently have an EPC rating of D or below.

There are 841,000 of those in London, accounting for 1.9m rooms: in total, there are 4.7m rooms across the UK in rental properties EPC D or below.

These homes fall short of the government’s aim for all houses to reach a minimum C rating by 2028. The government will reportedly cap the maximum spend per property at £10,000 – regardless of whether or not the C rating is achieved, meaning landlords face a cumulative bill of £45 billion just to upgrade their properties to the bare minimum.

Currently, all privately rented homes in England and Wales need to meet a minimum energy performance of band E before they can be let.

Ministers had previously proposed a deadline of 2025 for newly let rentals to achieve an energy performance rating of at least a C, and a deadline of 2028 for all other rented properties. Reportedly this deadline will be set at least three years later in 2028 and apply to all rental properties. However, not confirmation of this has so far been received.

The UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe with almost 38 per cent of homes being built before 1946. This means that many homes have lower EPC ratings and will need upgrading to meet anticipated future regulatory changes. A home with a higher EPC rating is likely to be more insulated and efficient which will reduce energy usage and keep bills down.

A spokesperson for Outra says: “Rental growth remains robust, storm clouds are on the horizon for buy to let investors. With higher interest rates eating into profits, even as average rents continue to increase, the sector is looking markedly less attractive as we move further away from historically low rates. 

“The real danger lies just around the corner in 2028, when all residential lettings need to meet a minimum EPC rating of C. For many small landlords, finding the cash to upgrade their London’s renters properties in today’s tough environment may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”  

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