Are landlords now seriously going to be made to pick up the cost of meeting the Government’s stretching target of net zero greenhouse gases by 2050?  

The answer is – not as much as many currently fear.  Landlords may hold more cards than they think. The current state of play is that there is a Bill wending its way through Parliament that will make it illegal to rent out a property with an EPC of less than a ‘C’ by 2028.

By 2025 no new tenancy agreements can be taken out on properties with an EPC of less than ‘C’ and that date is not far away. With tenants becoming more interested in the energy efficiency of their homes.  In addition to environmental concerns, the current soaring cost of fuel are also a motivating factor. 

The first step for landlords is to dig out the EPCs for their current properties and see what can be done.  Sometimes simple adjustments such as more energy efficient lighting and draught excluders will make a difference. Lenders too are responding to the focus on climate change by launching green-related mortgage products.

What of the properties that will struggle to reach a ‘C’ without a huge amount of expenditure?  

At the moment a housing minister at the Conservative Party conference said that the government was wary of the “untended consequences” of adding to the burden on landlords.  Particularly now with fewer new houses meaning increased reliance on the private rented sector which already houses almost one in five households.

The countdown is on for the government to publish its long-delayed and surely imminent Heat and Building Strategy.  This should give landlords a roadmap for the hoped for transition. It must surely contain either financial support to make the transition or at the very least a reasonable limit on what can be expected.  Landlords should do what they can to make a difference .

Going Green: What landlords need to know