Landlord EPC Deadline Scrapped - Prime Minister Confirms U-Turn
Rishi Sunak has delivered a speech in which he revisits several important green policies including the looming new EPC regulations that were introduced earlier this year. These policies were initially expected to impose significant financial burdens on landlords but were integral to his commitment to achieving Net Zero targets.
In his speech Sunak discussed the establishment of minimum EPC standards for properties, acknowledging that the substantial expenses associated with property upgrades may result in increased rental rates for tenants. The impending EPC alterations, scheduled to take effect for existing tenancies in 2028, have now been abandoned. Instead, the government will provide additional financial incentives to landlords and homeowners to encourage them to enhance their properties.
Sunak also alluded to the practical challenges associated with initiatives such as the ban on gas boilers, especially in cases where heat pumps may not be a suitable alternative. Rishi spoke about granting property owners significantly extended timelines for transitioning to heat pumps. There will be no compulsion to remove current gas boilers, and the requirement for property owners, including landlords, to replace them with heat pumps will only apply once these boilers have reached the end of their functional lifespan, with the deadline set at 2035. Moreover, an existing boiler upgrade program will see a 50% increase in funding, raising it to £7,500.
Sunak unveiled a 'fresh approach' to one of the UK's most pressing challenges, which is combating climate change. He emphasised the imperative to decrease emissions and underscored the need for politicians to openly communicate the true implications of previous measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
In response to the Prime Minister’s speech, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), says: “We want to see all properties as energy efficient as possible.
“But the uncertainty surrounding energy efficiency policy has been hugely damaging to the supply of rented properties.
“It is welcome that landlords will not be required to invest substantial sums of money during a cost-of-living crisis when many are themselves struggling financially."
Sunak points out that many folks who want to help reduce carbon emissions shouldn't have politicians dictating changes to them, especially if they're already struggling to get by. With the cost of living crisis and mortgage rate increases in full effect, the scrappage of the EPC regulations will be welcomed by many landlords who are worrying about the cost of making their rental properties more energy efficient. While it's still important to upgrade their properties for the safety of their tenants, the scrappage of the deadline gives landlords peace of mind without the added pressure of a time limit.
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