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Delay EPC change to help rental sector - top agency’s Budget hope

A prominent lettings agency has called for a delay to the government’s EPC upgrade timetable to be announced in this afternoon’s Budget.

In a series of ‘Budget wishes’ from senior figures in the Leaders Romans Group, Build To Rent director Andy Jones says: “Looming EPC changes – specifically the proposed upgrade to C rating for all new lets by 2025 – will almost certainly be kicked down the road. But this must be confirmed before we get to the edge of the precipice to avoid scaring off the private landlords that we desperately need to maintain a competitive private rented sector.”

Jones also wants wider help for the rental sector, through the reintroduction of mortgage interest tax relief and making stamp duty more incentivised for landlords.


Other senior LRG figures also want positive news for the rental sector today.

Chief executive Peter Kavanagh says: “The government must review its unfair treatment of private landlords, to encourage more to remain in and invest in the private rental sector, to increase supply of available property for tenants.”

Meanwhile group managing director Michael Cook comments: “I would like to see something that addresses the supply/demand imbalance in the private rental sector. Section 24 rules have had the knock-on impact of inflating rents. We need an efficient and fair way of attracting good quality landlords back into the sector to support tenants struggling to find suitable accommodation at appropriate rent levels.”

On a wider level, LRG is concerned that London’s status as a No.1 global city can’t be achieved without fiscal change - starting today.

Andy Jones says: “It’s rare to hear panel speakers swearing at a London property  conference, but last week’s London Residential Investment  conference was somewhat fruity. 

“There was frustration in the room that clearly highlighted an willingness by investors and developers to get on and build, but as things stand this was just not viable. The proverbial can is definitely being kicked down the road.

“It was inevitable that the central question – ‘Is London still considered the No.1 global city?’ - created some consternation. Essentially it was felt that the GLA’s ambitious growth plans wouldn’t be met without substantial fiscal change. Attendees came from all corners of the development industry, and were generally in agreement that substantial change is needed to get developers building at scale and their schemes hitting some sort of sensible viability and respectable margin.

“London should be one of the best places in which to invest, due to the language, time zone, and talent pool. But there is a strong feeling that its appeal is weakened and risks a sharp decline.”

  • Matthew Payne

    Got to keep lobbying, but I would say Mr Hunt is more likely to abolish income tax today that do anything with MEES. Any changes to the EPC timetable wont be coming yet, we have nearly 3 years before the sword of Damocles falls.

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    EPCs came in 15 years ago (a national public database of 21 million domestic EPCs and 1 million commercial EPCs has now been built for UK plc). The MEES Regs went live 8 years ago. The cost of wood, coal, oil, gas and electricity has been bloody expensive FOREVER.
    Oh yes, I can see that a small number of short-term thinking landlords haven't had enough time to reduce the energy waste from their domestic rental units. But for the vast majority of professional residential and commercial landlords improving our investment assets year on year is a baked-in part of our business plan.

  • icon

    Martin, you are so virtuos ,! Do you need a torch at night ,! Does the sea part when you enter it?


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