Landlords in the UK are condemning “Draconian” climate mandates which require properties to meet certain “net zero” targets before being rented out.
Recent government regulations state that by 2028, all rental properties must be upgraded to meet an “energy performance certificate (EPC) rating” of C. This involves hiring an assessor to look at the property’s windows, insulation, lighting, electrical systems, boiler and heating systems and renewable energy devices such as solar panels and wind turbines. All must meet the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) that will help the government achieve its goal of “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.
Rental owners found in breach of the rules can be fined up to £30,000 ($39,273).
But landlords are slamming the regulations that have them paying thousands of extra pounds which they cannot recoup from renters.
“The problem is, the costs to reduce energy consumption are usually high and there is very little return on the money spent,” National Association of Property Buyers Director Jonathan Rolande told City A.M. last week. “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.”
Rolande says that just upgrading the floor insulation for a two-bedroom house could cost £4,000 to £6,000 a year with only about £36 ($47) in savings.
“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.
The regulations, which took effect April 1st, also bar landlords from renting out properties with an EPC rating of E or below taking thousands of spaces off the market. In London alone, 10,000 commercial offices became unavailable forrent once the climate mandates took effect in April.
Similar climate rules being mandated in the US by the Biden administration are having an adverse effect on low-income mobile homebuyers. The new energy standards for mobile homes took effect in May and, while promising to save costs and slash carbon emissions, are expected to do neither.
Starting May 31st, mobile homes — also known as manufactured housing — must adhere to new insulation and sealing requirements the Department of Energy (DOE) announced last year.
“DOE’s new energy efficiency rules will help save the 17 million Americans residing in mobile homes up to $475 per year on average on their utility bills,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a statement. “The rules will hold manufacturers of these U.S. homes to cost-saving efficiency standards, giving residents more comfortable living environments and a much-needed break on their annual utility costs, while delivering cleaner air for their communities.”
But according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is suing the DOE over the new restrictions, these modifications are expected to raise mobile home prices by $4,100 to $4,500. That could be calamitous for the average manufactured homebuyer who makes $35,000 a year.
Nor could mobile homebuyers find solace in the DOE’s promise of a cleaner environment as a result of the rules. According to the DOE’s own analysis, the cut in carbon emissions would be trivial.