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Government announce plans to amend the EPC requirements for let properties

Government announce plans to amend the EPC requirements for let properties

Rishi Sunak has announced that the governments plans to ban gas boilers and amend EPC rating requirements for let properties are to be watered down for both homeowners and landlords. These changes will ease the pressures that were being faced by landlords and ensure more properties are available to the property rental sector.

The requirement that all newly let properties would need to be a minimum EPC rating of C by 2025, and for all existing lets by 2028, has been scrapped. In more rural areas, like the South West, the impact of this was more acutely felt and was no doubt leading landlords to consider alternatives to renting out their property. In an already restricted market, this would only continue to put tenants in an even more difficult position with rising rents and less property.

Under revised plans, the government will remove the requirement for landlords to have to make upgrades and instead continue to encourage households to do more where they can. Landlords can therefore look at making smaller, less expensive improvements which will still make a difference.

As the cost of living continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the energy efficiency and estimated cost of running a property is something which tenants are more aware of, particularly in a market where rents continue to rise.

In addition, and to help encourage continued improvements, the proposal also suggests the following;

  • Financial support - The Boiler Upgrade Grant will be increased by 50% to £7,500 to help those who want to replace existing gas boilers with a low carbon alternative.
  • Delay the ban on installing oil and LPG boilers, and new coal heating, for off-gas-grid homes to 2035, instead of phasing them out from 2026. This will help some considerably from having to spend between  £10,000 to £15,000 on upgrading their boilers and heating systems in just three years time.
  • Set an exemption to the phase out of fossil fuel boilers, including gas, in 2035, so that households who will most struggle to make the switch to heat pumps, or other low-carbon alternatives, won’t have to do so.

We welcome the changes to the plans in allowing landlords more time to meet the requirements and reduce the number of properties exiting the lettings market; however, it is a shame that many landlords, who have already done so, may not of exited if these changes had been implemented earlier.

As always, we would encourage all Landlords to look at the energy improvements they can make to their property where and when they can as, undoubtedly this will be an area that is continued to be looked at and the requirements in place could at some stage be accelerated again by a possible change in Government.

For more information, or help with letting or managing your property, contact your local branch.