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Landlord Upgrades to Improve Rental Energy Efficiency Slow After Policy Change

Landlord Upgrades to Improve Rental Energy Efficiency Slow After Policy Change

Landlord Upgrades to Improve Rental Energy Efficiency Slow After Policy Change

A recent survey found that 3/4 of UK landlords welcomed the government’s decision last fall to scrap a requirement for rental homes to reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2028. As a result, slightly fewer landlords now plan proactive efficiency upgrades if not legally mandated.

The survey highlighted a shift in landlord attitudes following the policy U-turn. Over 60% with lower-rated rentals still intend to eventually upgrade to C. But the share planning action as soon as possible dropped from 34% to 20%. Additionally, 25% will now only upgrade if required by future legislation, versus 13% previously.

Landlords cite the expense and difficulty of retrofitting older properties as the primary barrier to achieving a C EPC rating. However, 25% disagree with removing the rental housing efficiency targets, arguing landlords have a social and environmental duty to improve ratings.

As Landbay’s Rob Stanton commented: “We applaud the aim of upgrading rentals but must be realistic – much UK housing stock is old and costly to retrofit.” He noted that easier grant accessibility could motivate more voluntary landlord upgrades.

For now, the lack of a firm 2028 regulatory deadline gives landlords breathing room. With over 50% of rentals currently EPC grade D or lower, a high need remains to eventually enhance rental energy performance, costs, and emissions. But in the short term, upgrade activity is slowing following the policy change.

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