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06 October 2020

201: UK government consults on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes

On 30 September 2020, the government launched a new consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented residential homes.

The government’s aim is to have as many private rented homes as possible achieve an EPC rating of C by 2030. This is a sharp increase in the current EPC rating of E which is required to legally rent out residential property.

The government proposes a staggered, phased approach to hit this target. The core policy proposals are to:

  • implement a phased trajectory for the required improvements so that a C rating is achieved for new residential tenancies from 2025 and a C rating is achieved for existing tenancies from 2028;
  • increase the maximum amount that landlords of sub-standard homes are required to invest to improve the energy performance of their properties to £10,000. At present, a landlord’s improvement costs are capped at £3,500; and
  • introduce a ‘fabric first’ approach to energy performance improvements, which means improving the energy efficiency of the fabric of a building as a priority ahead of other improvements.

These are the government’s preferred proposals but there are other suggestions on the table.

Views on the proposals are welcomed and the consultation will close on 30 December 2020.

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