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Landlords Will Be Forced To Spend Thousands To Meet Net Zero Targets

March 29, 2023

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness


How much more pain are these idiots going to inflict?



Landlords will be blocked from letting properties unless they upgrade them to meet net zero energy efficiency targets within five years.

Ministers are poised to announce that landlords will have to spend thousands of pounds increasing the energy performance of their properties by 2028 – or face a fine of up to £30,000.

It is understood that the Government plans to force up to two million landlords to increase the Energy Performance Certificate rating of their properties to a minimum of a C standard to help reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.

It means buy-to-let investors could have to spend thousands of pounds installing insulation or eco-friendly devices such as heat pumps and solar panels to make their properties more energy efficient.

Currently, all privately rented homes in England and Wales need to meet a minimum energy performance of band E before they can be let.

Ministers had previously proposed a deadline of 2025 for newly-let rentals to achieve an energy performance rating of at least a C, and a deadline of 2028 for all other rented properties.

It comes after the Government was warned that the target was unachievable and risked driving landlords to sell up.

One industry source told The Telegraph that around 3,500 properties would need to be upgraded every day to meet the 2025 deadline, adding: “It’s a monumental challenge.”

There are fears that older properties will require much more investment to upgrade. The UK is home to one of Europe’s oldest housing stocks, with over half (52pc) of homes in England built before 1965.




The number of homes available to rent in the UK has fallen by a third over the past 18 months.

The sharp drop in the number of listings has helped drive up rents for new tenants by 11%.

Lettings agencies typically have 10 rentals compared to over 16 before September 2021, figures shared with the BBC by property website Zoopla show.

This has left people like Ruth searching for months without luck. "It seems completely hopeless", she said.,with%20the%20BBC%20by%20property%20website%20Zoopla%20show.



It does not take a genius to work out that landlords are not going to fork out thousands on EPCs, and many will simply sell up instead.

If the government wants the country to spend trillions on Net Zero, it should fund it itself and reduce other areas of public spending.

  1. March 29, 2023 2:26 pm

    1. Any money spent on ‘uprating’ a property will only be clawed back via rents, so rents will rise substantially.
    2. Why should landlords get subsidies to improve their properties, unless private owners get at least the matching level as they will also have to contribute to the landlords’ subsidy via tax?

    • bobn permalink
      March 29, 2023 3:44 pm

      Correct. Also
      ‘If the government wants the country to spend trillions on Net Zero, it should fund it itself ‘ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      The Govt has no money except what it steals from taxpayers. I dont want Govt wasting MY tax money on their nutty religions.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 29, 2023 7:53 pm

      “Why should landlords get subsidies to improve their properties”
      Has anyone ever suggested that they should?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 30, 2023 8:09 am

      Because you get the value back via the increase in the price of the house if you choose to do it. Landlords have no choice if they wish to continue renting. Taxpayers aren’t subsidising landlords, they are subsidising renters.

    • Steven Crook permalink
      March 30, 2023 9:31 am

      Mostly, the complete collapse of the rental market. If you have to spend 20k on improving the energy performance it will take decades to recoup the cost. Better to get out of the market. This, combined with pressure to remove section 21 evictions and (heaven help us) rent controls, should just about deal with all but the largest agencies who might absorb some of the costs and risks.

      It’s worth remembering that ~43% of lets are private landlords own a single property (20% of lets), and overall slightly over 50% of lets are from landlords with 4 or fewer properties.

      • Russ Wood permalink
        March 30, 2023 9:42 am

        The last time (in the 1980’s) that I as a renter met the great landlord rip-off was when I got a contract in Richmond, south of London. Trying to find a flat, after there had been a clamp-down on letting unfurnished flats, was a major pain, and I ended up paying a letting agency to find me a furnished bed-sitter. But some of the flats available were TERRIBLE (and not cheap, either).

  2. Broadlands permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:28 pm

    “…to help reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.”

    Reducing carbon feet will have no noticeable effect on the CO2 already added to the atmosphere to achieve negative net-zero emissions. All that can do is leave carbon in the ground for use in the future when the climate cools again.

  3. Taodas permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:30 pm

    It seems the Government are determined to destroy the UK economy !!!

    • Realist permalink
      March 29, 2023 2:49 pm

      Not only the UK. It seems ALL European politicians (not only the EU, but also national governments both in and outside the EU) want to destroy the economy due to their obsession with “climate” and “green”

  4. John Palmer permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:31 pm

    Maybe this could be a clever Govt policy/revenue earner, but this lot aren’t that ‘joined-up’. Think of it, gradually force ‘000’s of smaller, private buy-to-let owners out of the market with rules and taxes, then hit ’em with penal-rate CGT etc – brilliant!
    But… how will we house the millions of lower-paid, essential workers needed to keep everything (yes, everything) operating?
    Sadly, they’re just a collection of poli’s, unable to put together a coherent long-term plan for anything: housing, education, ENERGY, health, etc., etc.
    A pox on the lot of them!

  5. cassio21 permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:32 pm

    And Energy Performance Certificates seem in manay cases to be hardly worth the paper they’re written on:

    The EPC assessor who came to inspect my one-bed Victorian terraced house (bought to let), declined my invitation to climb the sturdy loft ladder to check the new extra layer of insulation, and ignored the latter when rating the house a D. My complaint to his “professional body” was summarily dismissed. How can you win against such a slipshod service ?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 29, 2023 8:04 pm

      Are there you have it…most EPC assessors are delightfully incompetent. So in my case I simply tell them what my EPC should be, blind them with science they have no hope of understanding and they just say ….okay. If they don’t agree I just go to another one who does agree with me!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 30, 2023 8:12 am

      Yes when selling my mother-in-laws house last year the very nice chap had no clue whatsoever, just a series of perfunctory checks that demonstrated nothing whatsoever. Its the worst of both worlds – hugely costly and damaging but with no value whatsoever. And I’m betting its highly vulnerable to corruption.

  6. eastdevonoldie permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:37 pm

    “If the government wants the country to spend trillions on Net Zero, it should fund it itself and reduce other areas of public spending.”

    We are already seeing the Govt spend £bn’s on Net Zero measures, not least supporting ‘renewables’ that will never meet energy demand. This massive govt waste of money means other Govt spending has to be cut or taxes raised.

  7. lunaticfringe01 permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:46 pm

    Politicians like to go on endlessly about “affordable housing” and then enact legislation that adds thousands to the cost of housing. Frickin’ idiots and hypocrites.

  8. Mad Mike permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:56 pm

    Who’d be a landlord at the moment? Changes in the law to making it very hard to get your property back from a bad tenant, falling house prices, increasing lending rates and now the obligation to spend thousands to upgrade the properties to a dubious C grade EPC. No wonder the rental sector is shrinking.

  9. David permalink
    March 29, 2023 2:57 pm

    Why has all this just now become news? It was announced a couple of years ago and no politicians seem to have pointed out the idiocy of it all. The market for tenants will disappear because most old properties’ insulation can only be improved marginally, also the proposed insulation in our climate is only really effective on the days when the outside temperature goes below about 5degC.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 30, 2023 8:14 am

      Yes, landlords have been shifting out of the sector for over a year. In London there’s been a huge increase in tenants given notice fir landlords to move back in – so that when they sell they avoid CGT. Incentives matter.

  10. David permalink
    March 29, 2023 3:03 pm

    The essence of this problem started when the government introduced the legal requirement for a property to have an energy certificate before selling. This removes the fundamental right of any individual to do a private deal with another. If a person chooses to buy a poor property at a price appropriate, why should the law have power to stop a deal?

    • gezza1298 permalink
      March 29, 2023 3:08 pm

      How much does a fake EPC cost I wonder….

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 29, 2023 7:31 pm

      In fairness Dave the government do not have the ability to stop such a transaction. All they can currently do is stop you renting out a property with a low EPC.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        March 30, 2023 7:16 am

        And they should NOT have such power. They are our EMPLOYEES and SERVANTS.

      • Realist permalink
        March 30, 2023 10:34 am

        It is still unnecessary meddling in the market.
        >>All they can currently do is stop you renting out a property with a low EPC.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 29, 2023 3:16 pm

    Whatever betting that Council-owned homes will be exempt.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 29, 2023 3:22 pm

      ‘What’s the betting…

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 29, 2023 7:41 pm

      Actually Harry most older council houses already meet EPC Band C.

  12. dearieme permalink
    March 29, 2023 3:39 pm

    I think the government ought to seek advice from “the adults in the room”. Perhaps President Micron could help, or President Lesgo Brandon?

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 29, 2023 4:24 pm

    Soon it won’t just be landlords.
    Houses below a rising minimum level will not be mortgageable.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 29, 2023 7:36 pm

      “Houses below a rising minimum level will not be mortgageable.” Indeed that is the only angle they can really manipulate. Already the “best” buy to let mortgage deals are predicated on an EPC of A or B. However this will not affect straight cash buyers and of course you can raise the “cash” on a different owned property being mortgaged.

  14. Malcolm permalink
    March 29, 2023 4:57 pm

    Why do we tolerate these Oxford PPE experts? Sometimes I wish I had done one if it meant I got an anonymous job which carries no personal consequences if I make a mess even leading to deaths. Then retire on a comfortable pension and get a modest gong.

  15. March 29, 2023 4:58 pm

    I don’t understand the comment in the lead-in email to this article, where it states “If the government wants the country to spend trillions on Net Zero, it should fund it itself “. The government doesn’t have any money, it’s our money being spent (or miss-spent) by the government.

  16. Ray Sanders permalink
    March 29, 2023 5:24 pm

    I am a buy to let Landlord with three properties. I have posted extensively on here about this before. All my three properties have already been upgraded to EPC band C at not inconsiderable time (not so much expense as I completed works myself) over the last few years in anticipation of this.
    For me these properties are investments for each of my three children in addition to an income (heavily taxed!) for my retirement so my decisions were based on multiple considerations. I will be retaining my properties
    However, I am also a members Landlord’s Association with associated online discussion forum. Discussions on this forum are quite emphatic – if unaffordable conditions are applied then people will cash in on the asset and invest elsewhere.
    If the BBC (WTF do they really know?) thinks renters have it bad now, wait till they see what happens when/if a mass self off occurs.

  17. catweazle666 permalink
    March 29, 2023 6:53 pm

    That should stimulate a thriving market in dodgy Energy Performance Certificates, there aren’t that many qualified practitioners and there isn’t the workforce to do all the necessary property upgrades.

  18. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 30, 2023 8:07 am

    Yes, my elderly mother has just sold the home she inherited some years ago and was renting out because it’s simply unfeasible to upgrade it. Even if she had the money, there’s no way she could ever get it back through increased rents. The government is senselessly reducing the rental sector. Utterly stupid.

  19. Ray Sanders permalink
    March 30, 2023 3:23 pm

    As a footnote, I have just looked at the EPC (Band C) of my most recently purchased property. It reads:
    “The assessor did not find any opportunities to save energy by installing further insulation in this property”
    So the only ways to improve to Band B or above were quoted as installing Solar Thermal water heating at £4,000 to £6,000 to save £26 per annum, Solar Photovoltaic panels at £3,800 to £5,5000 to save £323 per annum and a domestic Wind Turbine (!!!) at £6,000 to £8,000 to save a further £210 per annum.

    You really could not make this sort of crap up.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      March 31, 2023 12:57 am

      Depending on future bank rates that’s a breakeven point of 40-50yrs !!

      • David permalink
        April 1, 2023 7:15 pm

        Solar panels and windmills will not last 40-50 years, so will have to be replaced, I think that spoils your maths just a smidgen. Not that they needed spoiling.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        April 2, 2023 1:15 am

        My point exactly … it’s green perpetual stupidity !!

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