The managing director of estate agency group My Property Box has described reports that the government intends to force landlords to upgrade their properties to meet net zero energy efficiency targets as “unachievable”.
Ben Quaintrell says that any proposal to bring the Energy Performance Certificate rating of rented homes from E to C will require huge investment that is far outside the means of many private landlords.
It is reported that the government will introduce a sliding scale of spend per property up to a maximum of £10,000 – depending upon its rental value. Landlords failing to comply will face a fine of up to £30,000.
Ben Quaintrell, whose estate agency group operates across the North East of England and North Yorkshire, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes is important, but this requires many thousands of pounds worth of investment within a very short timeframe.
“Achieving net zero energy efficiency targets in modern homes is relatively straight forward but the majority of our housing stock is pre-1960s and require huge investment. For example, many terraced houses were built with walls one brick deep while others don’t have the necessary minimum gaps for cavity wall insulation.
“The onus must not be on private landlords to carry the can, rather there needs to be a UK wide government investment plan that acts as a workable incentive – unlike its flagship Green Homes Grant that was scrapped after just six months in 2021.
“If enacted, these measures will only drive even more private landlords out of the sector at a time when demand is outstripping supply, which is leading to rising rents and placing even more pressure on tenants.
“There is no doubt this country does need to improve the energy efficiency of homes but it needs a workable government-led investment strategy which takes place over a more realistic time period.
“Energy efficiency has been discussed at all levels for many years without any real action. To suddenly expect landlords to find many thousands of pounds to raise EPC ratings from E to C in just five years is simply unachievable and will negatively impact the rental sector, which so many depend upon.”