BTL landlords urged to assess energy efficiency at properties

Buy-to-let (BTL) landlords in England should be assessing the energy efficiency works that their properties require ahead of the opening of online applications for the Green Homes Grant in September, according to Blick Rothenberg.

The tax and advisory firm stated that applications for the grant will open in just over a months, as BTL landlords need to assess their properties now and get their applications in as quickly as possible, with thousands of people set to apply.

Blick Rothenberg also highlighted that the Government will “likely” tighten energy efficiency regulations further in 2021, making efficiency works essential for many rental properties.

There are approximately 2.2 million landlords in England, the firm calculated, with an average of 1.8 properties each – making a total of 3.96 million BTL properties in the country.

If landlords applied for grants to improve the energy efficiency of just 25% of their properties, and got an average grant of £3,300 for insulation, the firm stated that the Green Homes Grant funding would be worth £3.27bn, and 990,000 homes would have been improved.
“The Chancellor announced £2bn to fund grants in 2020/21, and stated he hopes 600,000 homes to be improved, but he made it clear that his funding was based on estimates of take up of the funding, and indicated it is not capped, which is good news for BTL landlords,” commented property partner firm, Heather Powell.

“The grant scheme will fund £2 of every £3 spent by a landlord, up to a maximum of £5,000, to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Works can include wall and loft insulation, draught proofing and double glazing, all works that should improve the Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of a property.

“Landlords cannot let properties with an energy performance rating of F or G, unless they qualify for an exemption. Landlords should be planning to undertake works that can be done with the grant funding that is being made available. Their tenants will also benefit as they will get a reduction in their annual fuel bills.

“The 27 million homes in the UK, which generate up to 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions and energy demand in the UK, are some of the least heat efficient homes in Europe. The Government hopes the grants will improve these statistics and help the UK to meet the commitment to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

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