Government Reassesses Buy-To-Let EPC Ratings Policies: Implications for Frome Landlords
The government has re-evaluated its stance on several eco-centric regulations, introducing essential modifications of interest to buy-to-let Frome landlords:
It was planned that all landlords would be forced to upgrade their buy-to-let properties to a 'C' grade on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which could cost many tens of thousands of pounds per property.
Rishi Sunak has stated that this proposal to force landlords to enhance the energy efficiency of their properties has been withdrawn. However, households are still advised to make energy improvements if possible.
There's an increase in the Boiler Upgrade Grant, now set at £7,500. This move seeks to assist households in transitioning from traditional gas boilers to more environment-friendly options like heat pumps.
A postponement has been set to prohibit oil, LPG boilers, and new coal heating installations in homes not connected to the gas grid. Instead of a 2026 phase-out, the timeline has been extended to 2035. Sunak recognising the unsuitability of many of these homes for heat pumps, this decision aims to alleviate homeowners from potentially incurring £10k+ per property in swift upgrade costs.
An exemption for the 2035 phase-out of fossil fuel boilers has been introduced. This ensures that households finding it hardest to transition to sustainable alternatives like heat pumps will be able to do so. It's anticipated that around 20% of homes, especially those off the gas grid that may demand costly renovations or substantial electric connections, will benefit from this exemption.
It is our opinion these changes have been largely seen in a positive light in the property industry. We have a responsibility towards the environmental challenges ahead, and whilst it's recognised that everyone needs to adapt for those, it can not be at the expense of making people homeless.
However, the pressures on Frome homeowners and, more specifically, Frome landlords have been considerable recently. Given the rising legislative demands, taxation, inflation, and interest rates, many Frome landlords have contemplated exiting the sector.
Such constraints have indirectly escalated rental rates. Hence, by scaling back on some of these policies, landlords in the rental sector will find some relief soon.