Government rules which ensure housing meets net zero targets have been branded “draconian” by a landlords group, who say costs massively outweigh benefits.
Under new proposals, landlords will be blocked from letting properties unless they upgrade them to meet net zero energy efficiency targets as soon as 2028.
Homes will be required to have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C or above and landlords could face fines of up to £30,000 if they breach these rules.
Speaking exclusively to City A.M., Jonathan Rolande from the National Association of Property Buyers, has warned that the potential imposition of these rules by the government is causing much concern to property owners, landlords especially.
“The problem is, the costs to reduce energy consumption are usually high and there is very little return on the money spent.
“Landlords can’t really ask for more rent because the walls are insulated and tenants save very little on fuel bills with almost all energy-saving measures.”
“Floor insulation in a small two bedroom house would cost £4000 to £6000 and save £36 a year. With financials like this, it is easy to see why, to meet targets, the Government must impose potentially draconian rules and regulations to get us to improve our housing stock and reduce carbon emissions – without them, who would bother?
“Green targets are driving this, not a traditional business case. It will soon be time for landlords to decide whether they stay in the sector or quit now, before things get even more expensive.
“Whether you agree with the targets to improve the nation’s housing stock to meet low carbon targets depends to a great extent on whether you feel that climate change is indeed caused by emissions and whether it should be our top priority or not.”
It comes as many landlords are already struggling with high costs of energy bills and mortgage repayments.
Just yesterday, figures from Moneyfacts showed that the average two-year fixed residential mortgage rate is 6.63 per cent, a figure which is very close to its October 2022 peak, when it hit 6.65 per cent following the fall out of September’s mini budget.
He continued: “Landlords, already squeezed via the removal of tax breaks and eviction red tape, will be hit hard in particular.
“Some have already sold up, while others fear being squeezed out of some of the few remaining lucrative parts of the market. Businesses are also facing the pressure, as similar regulations are introduced for commercial properties.”