The government plans to make rental properties more environmentally friendly by imposing a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C
This follows recent consultation on energy performance by the Government, when it announced that it was considering making the C rating the minimum requirement for all new rentals by 2025, and for all existing rentals by 2028, in England and Wales.
The changes are now part of the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill, which is currently going through parliament.
However, estate agent HOP, which has branches in the town centre, Pudsey and Horsforth, urges caution.
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HOP, which manages an extensive portfolio of residential properties, catering to both the professional and student markets in Leeds, is currently advising new and existing owners to seek expert advice and carefully consider a property’s EPC before to buy a property.
Luke Gidney, Managing Director of HOP, explained: “The EPC rating system has seven different bands, with G being the least energy efficient and A the most efficient.
“Currently rental properties in England and Wales must have an EPC of at least E to be let, unless they are exempt, but the government is considering raising this to C, as part of its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
“However, a surprising number of new and existing owners are unaware that these changes are on the horizon. Some real estate agents avoid mentioning it in order to guarantee a sale, but we work hard to make sure investors fully understand what they are buying.
“We are already advising a number of owners on what steps to take to improve their ratings and have decided to launch a comprehensive EPC consultancy service to help them navigate the proposed changes.
“Several members of our team are undergoing training to become official EPC assessors, so that we can provide personalized and strategic advice on the best ways to improve the energy performance of a property.
“It’s also important to remember that the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law, and it could still be rejected, and that’s part of the reason. why there is so much uncertainty and confusion around him.
“In many cases, converting a property to a C-rated home could be as simple as upgrading the insulation or installing a more efficient boiler, but in some older properties it could require significant investment and work. .
“It is therefore important that anyone investing in property now, as well as existing owners, fully understand the EPC rating presented to them and seek professional advice.”
Luke continued: “Despite the possibility of new legislation and the impact it may have on some properties, Leeds remains a very attractive location for investors.
“The town naturally offers better value for money than many other parts of the UK with attractive returns, against the backdrop of a strong local economy and strong demand for quality rental properties from professionals. and students.
“There is also a good range of accommodation, with modern apartments and new builds always popular with investors and these are often built with a B or C rating.
“However, it is often the older houses and traditional Leeds terraces in the desirable suburbs around the city center that offer the best returns, but they are generally less energy efficient than new stock.
“Investors buying these types of properties should definitely consider what it might cost if the property were to achieve a C rating and plan ahead for this possibility.”
The Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill is a private member’s bill which was introduced in Parliament on Tuesday 20 July 2021.
It proposes that all home properties achieve at least C-Band EPC by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.
Privately leased properties should have at least one EPC Band C from December 31, 2028, again where practical, cost effective and affordable.
New rentals would be required to have an energy efficiency performance of at least EPC Band C from December 31, 2025.
It also calls for a Future Homes standard that will require all homes built from January 1, 2025 to be zero-carbon ready.
It has now reached second reading stage which is due to take place on Friday 6th May this year.
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