Seventy-five percent of landlords express approval for the government’s decision to discard the proposal requiring all rental properties to achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of C by 2028, according to insights from a Landbay landlord survey. This shift in sentiment signifies a noteworthy change in landlords’ perspectives on undertaking energy efficiency upgrades.
The survey reveals that, with the elimination of a legal mandate, a marginally reduced number of landlords plan to make alterations to enhance energy efficiency in their properties. This nuanced response suggests a delicate balance between regulatory requirements and landlords’ voluntary initiatives in response to evolving energy efficiency standards.
More than six out of 10 landlords with lower-rated properties are contemplating upgrading to achieve a C rating. Among this group, 42% express a willingness to make changes in the future, while 20% have immediate plans for upgrades. This suggests a proactive stance among a significant portion of landlords towards improving energy efficiency.
On the flip side, a quarter of landlords are adopting a wait-and-see approach, indicating that they would only consider upgrades if legislation mandates it in the future. Additionally, 13% of landlords have indicated that they have no plans for any energy efficiency modifications, signaling a portion of the landlord community’s reluctance or lack of interest in such improvements.
Comparing this post-policy shift scenario to the period before the removal of the EPC minimum requirement, there’s a notable shift in intentions. Previously, 73% of landlords expressed their commitment to elevating their properties to a C rating. Within this group, 39% planned to wait until nearer the proposed 2028 deadline, while 34% had intentions to initiate upgrades sooner. The altered landscape highlights the tangible impact of regulatory changes on landlords’ decisions regarding energy efficiency upgrades.
The primary obstacle identified by landlords in enhancing their properties to meet the EPC C standard is the cost and complexity associated with retrofitting older properties. This challenge underscores the practical difficulties involved in upgrading the energy efficiency of a substantial portion of the UK’s aging housing stock.
Interestingly, a quarter of landlords expressed disapproval of the removal of EPC minimum requirements. Despite acknowledging the societal and environmental importance of energy-efficient housing, they believed landlords should take the responsibility to enhance their property ratings voluntarily. Rob Stanton, Landbay’s business development director, emphasizes the need for a realistic approach, considering the extensive older housing stock in the UK that poses challenges in terms of retrofitting feasibility and associated expenses.
“Some landlords said they would be encouraged to update their property if there was more government help such as easy accessibility to grants. Over half of rental properties in the UK are D rated or lower so landlords now have some breathing space to plan without a looming deadline.”