Landlords in UK should plan ahead for new energy regulations

Taylor Scott International News

New Government plans in the UK will require buy to let landlords to spend up to £5,000 to make their rental properties more energy efficient. The new legislation, which kicks in 2018 will require landlords to raise the energy efficiency of their homes to at least Band E for new tenancies by carrying out improvements such as insulation, cavity wall filling and new boilers. It has been suggested by the Residential Landlord’s Association that a total of 330,000 buy to let homes, typically Victorian and Edwardian properties, will be affected and the RLA has warned the new so called ‘green tax’ could push rents even higher. The Government has proposed a £5,000 cap, claiming that most landlords will pay no more than £1,800 but according to Peter Armistead of Armistead Property, the Government should be providing alternative support, now the Green Deal has ended, to help fund energy efficiency improvements. ‘Landlords have been bombarded with new tax measures over the last 12 months and this is yet another cost that some landlords will have to face. Landlords can’t be expected to absorb all these new taxation measures and just stand back and watch their profits being eroded. Unfortunately, it will be tenants that will have to bear the brunt of these costs through higher rents,’ he said. ‘While it is a good move to improve the quality of rented accommodation, there should be another scheme to help landlords make the improvements. The Green Deal gave loans to improve energy efficiency and these loans were then repaid by tenants, who as a result of the works were paying lower bills,’ he explained. To help spread the improvement costs, landlords should start upgrading their properties, before it becomes mandatory in 2018 for new tenants. Buy to let mortgage providers will require borrowers to comply with the regulations and valuers are likely to amend their criteria in the run up to 2018, making buy to let mortgage applications more difficult. ‘Most insurance policies require landlords to comply with all relevant statutory requirements. This may mean that it could be more difficult to get insurance unless landlords comply with the forthcoming regulations. Landlords with F and G rated properties need to manage the upgrading and improving their properties to avoid potential prosecution and fines,’ added Armistead. Taylor Scott International

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