EPC rules may push landlords to upgrade glazing, says tax expert

David Hannah, of Cornerstone Tax

Landlords may turn to upgraded glazing in order meet updated efficiency rules, a tax expert has said. The wider comment is in response to reports that, by 2028, landlords are going to be required to ensure that properties hold a minimum EPC standard rating of C, or face fines of up to £30,000.

“Landlords are now under significant pressure to upgrade their properties by 2025, explained David Hannah, group chair of Cornerstone Tax. “By 2028, all existing tenancies will require the property to have a rating of C or above. This may not be an easy, trouble-free experience. And under the changes to the EPC ratings for buy-to-let properties, only 0.2% of UK landlords would qualify for government funding.

“For most landlords, getting their EPC standards from E to C will come at a considerable cost. To get a rental property up to scratch, improvements include a minimum of double-glazed windows, alongside less wasteful domestic appliances and even solar panels.

“Getting all rental properties to a standard EPC rating of C will be far too costly for landlords. There must be more government funding. We are currently experiencing a huge demand for rental stock at a time when there is worrying undersupply, and I fear this will only worsen as more landlords look to sell. I advise landlords to work out how much it will cost them to make these changes and offset the time it will take for their investment to pay off.

“The rental market is filled with uncertainties at the moment, with rising rents making it less attractive from a renter’s standpoint and rising house prices making it less desirable for buy-to-let landlords to grow their portfolios. Our research shows that many landlords were not prepared to deal with the current obstacles facing the rental market. One in five say they became landlords without the sufficient knowledge needed and have lost thousands as a result.”