Government efficiency plans may make homes unavailable

17 per cent of homes on the private letting market could become unavailable to rent by 2018 under proposals from the Government to increase the minimum efficiency standard for rental properties.

New research from Urban.co.uk suggests that the Energy Efficiency Regulations passed in 2015 could lead to a number of properties being unfit. This is a concern given the existing supply/demand imbalance.

The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations set out minimum energy efficiency standards for England and Wales. The legislation makes it unlawful for landlords to offer a new tenancy agreement on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E from the 1st April.

Urban’s Landlord Knowledge Survey Report questioned around 4,000 UK landlords on a number of issues relating to the UK market, with the research suggesting that many current private landlords are unaware that a large chunk of homes available in the rental market are currently below the minimum energy efficiency standards proposed.

Adam Male, co-founder of Urban.co.uk, claims that one reason to explain the lack of industry knowledge could be due to the recent influx in new regulations, which have flooded the rental market.

“With landlords facing more changes than ever over the past couple of years, it is no surprise that many find it tricky to keep up-unfortunately that’s no defence should it all go disastrously wrong,” he said.

Planning and preparation will be needed in order to mitigate the impact of the new legislation. Landlords are being urged to act now to make sure their properties come up to at least an E standard.

Danny Luke, managing director at Quick Move Now, added: ‘It is commendable that the government is keen to improve the quality of rental property, but for the proposed new legislation to be workable, a great deal of thought will need to go into how landlords can be supported to make the necessary changes.

“This is especially true in light of the government’s decision to stop funding Green Deal improvements.

‘If significant energy efficiency improvement work is likely to be required, landlords will need support if we want to ensure a vibrant and efficient private rental market in the coming years.”

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