Property news: Energy efficiency

The number of energy inefficient properties owned by landlords is steadily decreasing, according to research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

In December 2012, 61% of landlords reported that they had no properties rated F or G in terms of their energy efficiency, an increase of 11% on the year before. This rise in the ownership of energy efficient rental properties could be down to upgrades of older properties or the sale of lower-rated properties

As well as possessing fewer energy inefficient properties, the number of respondents saying they don’t know what bracket their property falls into has fallen by 12% year-on-year. This added awareness of the EPC rating of their properties is a clear indicator that landlords have been spurred on to take a closer interest in energy performance.

Another potential side effect of this increased concern is growing awareness of the government’s Green Deal, which was launched on 28 January. At the end of 2012, more than half (58%) of landlords said they were aware of the government’s proposal for improving private rental sector (PRS) housing’s energy performance. This is a significant increase on the figure of 48% recorded at the end of 2011. Landords’ awareness of the Green Deal far outstrips that of the general public, with a recent YouGov poll claiming that 4 in 5 had not heard of it.*

Ian Potter, Managing Director of ARLA, said: “EPCs have attracted considerable scrutiny in the past, but it would appear that landlords are now paying increased attention to the efficiency of their properties. This understanding is complimented by rising awareness of the ‘split incentive’ offered by the Government’s Green Deal proposal for the PRS. However, whether this awareness translates into uptake remains to be seen.

“Increasingly, savvy tenants will ask to see a property’s EPC or even ask about previous bills, therefore it is prudent for landlords to have a clear picture of the performance of their properties.”