Last week the government introduced the Minimum Energy Efficiency of Buildings Bill. The government wants privately rented homes to achieve an EPC rating of at least C by 2025 for new tenancies and by 2028 for existing tenancies.
This week a charity and a tech company have warned of the considerable cost to residential landlords of upgrading their lettings.
Geospatial technology company Kamma has published data which shows 2.9m rental homes need improving at a cost of £9,872 per home. The final bill for the rental sector would be £29 billion and yet funding for improvements has dropped from £1.5 billion as part of the Green Homes Grant to just £562m in a new sheme targeting low income families.
Chief executive Orla Shields says: “…it’s right to target poorly performing housing stock at this crucial time in the fight against climate change. More consideration needs to be given, however, to who and how this is going to be paid for.”
“An increase in minimum EPC E to C is a dramatic rise and landlords won’t see any short-term benefits from lower fuel bills. Government policy is all stick and no carrot at this point.”
This opinion is mirrored by the charity Citizens Advice Scotland who have warned without government help landlords will not achieve the minimum EPC targets.
CAS state: “.. a particular sticking point for the private rented sector is those who need to make the investment – AKA the landlords – aren’t the ones benefitting from warmer homes and reduced energy bills. Landlords feel they need to be properly supported to make these investments, with better communication from government along with some form of financial assistance.”
CAS warns that support cannot come at the expense of the tenant: “They are the consumer, and we want a just transition, so the cost of retrofit shouldn’t be recouped through increased rent and can’t inconvenience tenants already living in the property”.