Published on June 8th, 2023

Furbnow statement on the new energy bill: Where has the landlord legislation gone?

After looking through the UK Government's May Energy Bill, we've found that any reference to privately let properties needing to improve their EPC rating has been removed. There's been no communication to the industry and no guidance on what's to come.

3 mins Guides for landlords

After the ever-changing communications about all newly-rented properties needing to be at an EPC rating of C from 2025, and then pushed back to 2028, Furbnow has discovered that this legislation has been dropped altogether from May’s Energy Bill. What we have found is the result of a consultation from 2020 to improve all newly rented homes, ‘as much as possible by 2030’ which the government has said it will respond to at the end of the year.

There has been a lot of speculation around what is being done for privately let properties, but no concrete communications from the government. This is a setback for what has already been a problematic and underlooked area in government attempts to decarbonise the UK.

Where has the legislation gone?

With no information about why this part of the bill has disappeared it’s hard to know what the reasons are for its removal. As far as we can see this looks backhanded as there’s been no public statement or explanation, just a deletion of what is an important step towards decarbonisation and a higher standard of living for tenants.

At Furbnow we’ve continued to work at the point of delivery, informing landlords and homeowners about the benefits of home retrofit and the need to improve properties’ energy efficiency, but without government policy to support the process, there will be millions of homes left without new measures to reduce their carbon impact. The delay to the end of the year creates further uncertainty in the market and drastically pushes back on decarbonisation goals.

When will we see policies for privately let properties and energy efficiency?

With no new policy vehicle due to bring about improvements in privately rented buildings’ energy efficiency it’s hard to see when any changes will be made. This comes at a critical time when more investment is needed by homeowners and landlords than ever before and a lack of leadership means less confidence in a market that really needs it. We’re running out of time for the 2030 requirement in the consultation, waiting and uncertainty isn’t helping the market and shortening the time we have to reach that goal means the industry won’t have effective implementation.

We call on the government to show leadership when it comes to home retrofit, and we stress that in order to achieve Net 0 the UK needs to prioritise decarbonising its housing stock. We ask the government to offer some communications at the very least to show that there will be a decarbonising policy around home retrofit in the private rental market.

What we think should happen

While a good start would be to bring back the legislation that was there in the first place, however imperfect it might have been, we think that this should at least be an opportunity to open up discussion about how improving the energy efficiency of privately rented properties should happen.

Our belief is that we should aim for all newly let properties to be EPC C or above by 2030 in line with the requirements for the social housing sector - but that this needs to be implemented by the end of the year - not for the government to come to a decision on it by this time.

Funding for advisory services to ensure quality energy efficiency measures are installed need to be in place to support landlords in the transition while assuring quality. Enforcement bodies for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard, nominally local authorities, need to be properly resourced and provide routes to retrofit advisory services to help landlords navigate retrofit.

Written by

Oisin Teevan

Your Furbnow Privacy Settings

In order to give you the best experience, we use cookies for performance, analytics, personalisation, advertising and to help our site function. Want to know more? Read our Privacy Policy.