Government u-turn on proposed EPC rules for rental homes: What does it mean for landlords and tenants?

The Government this week scrapped plans aimed at forcing landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties.

On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak announced the Government would ‘soften’ several green policies, including minimum EPC standards for rental homes.

Although it had not officially become law, for years, landlords have feared these mooted plans that would compel them to upgrade their rental properties to achieve an EPC rating of C by 2028.

Potential new EPC requirements scrapped: There were fears that landlords would be required to upgrade their properties to an EPC of C rating by 2028 in order to let them out

The EPC is a rating scheme which bands properties between A and G, with an A rating being the most energy efficient and G the least efficient.

At present, all rental properties in England and Wales need to have an EPC of at least E in order to be let, unless they are exempt.

This now looks set to remain as the rule for the foreseeable future thanks to a government u-turn earlier this week.

Sunak partly justified scrapping the policy by suggesting that the huge costs of upgrading homes was likely to be passed on as higher rents to tenants.

However, while some government funding will be offered to landlords to upgrade their properties, they will no longer have to fear being fined for not retrofitting their properties.

The potential requirement of having to have an EPC of C to let a property had been looming over landlords for some time. In fact, it was seen as a key reason for some landlords deciding to sell up and exit the sector.

The Prime Minister hosted a press conference on Wednesday and confirmed the government would not be forcing landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties

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