“It will soon be time for landlords to decide whether they stay in the sector or quit now, before things get more expensive.”

NEW rules seeking to ensure housing meets net zero targets are causing “much concern” to landlords, a leading property association warns today.

Under new proposals, people 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 EPC rating of C or above and landlords could face fines of up to £30,000 if they breach these rules.

Commenting on the impact this is already having in the sector,Jonathan Rolande, from the National Association of Property Buyers, explained: “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.”

Pointing out how the sums in this area don’t add up for landlords he continued:: “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. 

“Compared to the catastrophe of global warming, concerns about house prices may seem trivial. But there is little doubt this will only add to the exodus of landlords we are already seeing.”

Britain has made an international commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the ambition faces a huge threat because we are awash with old, inefficient properties that are a significant contributor to overall carbon emissions. The Government is trying to encourage homeowners into upgrading the energy efficiency of their homes. But the knock-on effects on the property market will be substantial, economists have warned.

With millions of homes expected to be affected, experts fear it will exacerbate forecast house price falls. 

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.

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