Yet, it’s the decisions we make with regards to our property that can potentially have the biggest impact – around 22 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions come from energy use in residential housing – and as owners of more than just their own home, landlords arguably can affect some of the biggest change.
New regulations could soon force landlords to improve EPC ratings on rental properties from E to C by 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for existing arrangements. It will be critical for landlords to understand exactly how this new legislation could affect their portfolio – if a property fails to meet the new regulation, landlords run the risk of incurring fines or even missing out on potential tenancies.
So, what role can intermediaries play in helping landlords to respond to these new rules, all while creating greener properties that are better for the planet?
Understand the regulations
The government is taking stronger steps towards decarbonising housing stocks as a part of its net zero plans and, consequently, improving energy efficiency ratings for rental properties could soon be the number one issue facing landlords.
Intermediaries will need to stay up to date with new EPC legislation in order to provide expert advice for clients, many of whom will need to consider making changes to their portfolios to ensure they comply with the rules.
Guide clients to the right choices
There are many different changes landlords can make to improve the efficiency of their properties but advising clients on which can have the biggest impact and avoiding some of the pitfalls that come alongside making certain improvements, could be essential.
For example, if clients were to invest in fitting double or triple glazing to a property, the effectiveness of these changes would be drastically reduced if they failed to ensure any new fittings are also draught proofed.
At the same time, small changes that require a far less significant investment can have a big impact.
In fact, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that something as simple as fitting a hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket could save the average property around £35 in heating costs. Many small changes, including one like this, could add up to a major reduction in heating bills – and could help a client’s property to pass the proposed EPC rules.
Lower costs could also make the building a more attractive prospect for new tenants who will be using less energy at a time when energy bills are rising rapidly.
Get the most out of green schemes
Intermediaries know the importance of keeping up to date on what’s on offer in the mortgage market for their clients. It’s no different when it comes to being aware of green mortgages and schemes that can help landlords to save money on sustainable improvements.
The good news for your clients is that there are a variety of green solutions and schemes now available in the market. For example, some lenders offer cashback for carrying out qualifying work that improves a property’s energy efficiency, such as fitting double glazing, installing insulation or setting up solar panels.
The lack of clarity surrounding the upcoming regulations could have the potential to create a headache for landlords as they try to understand exactly what the measures mean for them, and the most appropriate action they can take to improve the efficiency of their rental properties.
Intermediaries are already trusted experts for many clients in the property market, and by providing clarity on the new rules as well as guidance on energy efficiency improvements, they are well positioned to help landlords to be on the right side of any new rules and create rental portfolios that are friendlier to the planet.