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More pain on the horizon for Newark landlords

It would seem that there is even more pain on the horizon for Newark landlords. A recent post on Facebook by Kevin Poneskis, the best-selling author of Property Soldier, raised the issue of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) for landlords operating buy-to-let portfolios. Presently the minimum EPC rating for a buy-to-let property is Band E, we all have to admit that this is not a particularly high bar and needs to be improved, however the government have announced that soon buy-to-let properties will require an energy performance certificate of C and above! Surely a gradual uplift to D and then C would be more reasonable?

This is a massive challenge for landlords given that according to a recent survey almost 60% of homes in the UK have a D rating or lower. . This means this change will affect the majority of landlords in the UK potentially costing them £1,000s in forced property upgrades. The UK Government has released suggested changes and potential costs associated with these changes to reach the new minimum EPC standards. In the past once a landlord had spent £3,500 on EPC improvements, they were then exempt from further expense, this bar is likely to be raised to £10,000 in order to achieve a band C. Landlords will need to review their insulation in walls, floors, and windows, as well as potentially installing new, more energy-efficient boilers.

The regulations will require that the minimum EPC rating be raised to a band C for all new tenancies by 2025, and all existing tenancies by 2028. If this doesn’t sound bad enough, in a consultation document from June 2021 it was determined that this bar should be raised again. The document strongly suggests raising the minimum EPC rating for buy-to-let properties to a B by 2030 with only 4 of the 84 consultants thinking this minimum is either ‘inappropriate’ or unachievable.

It will be interesting to see if council owned properties are subject to the same regulations as their budgets may come under even more pressure given the cost of upgrades.

Landlords continue to be the governments number one target in respect of housing in the UK and it is difficult to see anything other than pain on the horizon for Newark landlords. If you are  a landlord who is looking for alternatives, then contact us and we can discuss the options open to you.