New long-term targets for improving energy efficiency across the private rental sector simply are not realistic, the government has been warned.
The broadside comes from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents‘ policy and campaigns manager, Timothy Douglas, following a consultation document released by government this week.
The target is to lift the minimum EPC for all privately rented homes to Band C - this would apply to new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028. The government has outlined penalties of up to £30,000 for landlords who do not comply, and is considering banning agents and portals from listing properties that do not meet the standards.
“On the face of it these proposals simply do not take into account the state of the UK's housing stock. We all want to see more energy efficient homes, but the new rules and requirements must be realistic and achievable” says Douglas.
The ARLA Propertymark chief continues: “Landlords and their letting agents are already taking the brunt of tax changes and many are providing support to tenants with Covid-related arrears.
“A simplified [EPC] exemptions regime and additional financial support must be made available otherwise the measures in their current form, will not be achievable and that would mean further reductions in the supply of rented accommodation available.”
The government’s consultation document runs to 48 pages and includes options and detailed requirements regarding energy efficiency improvements it expects from the sector.
You can see the consultation document here with details of how to respond. The closing deadline for comments from agents is 11.45pm on December 30 - the government says it will respond next spring.