Majority of renters say they would avoid an energy inefficient property

As energy costs are expected to rise further this winter and beyond, how energy efficient our homes are remains a priority for many tenants, with new research from Shawbrook revealing that 58% of private renters would be less likely to look at a rental property if they were aware that it had an EPC rating of D or below.

Related topics:  Landlords
Property Reporter
4th January 2023
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As part of its Confronting the EPC Challenge report, a new study from Shawbrook found that young private renters are particularly engaged on energy efficiency, with 72% of renters aged 18-34 saying they always check the EPC rating of a property before making any decisions. This is compared to 52% of those aged over 55 years old.

However, the research, which surveyed over 1,000 private renters, highlighted a significant knowledge gap surrounding energy efficiency ratings. Just 7% of respondents felt they ‘know a lot’ about EPC requirements, while 27% of tenants say they have heard of EPC requirements but ‘don’t know anything about them’. A further 27% had never heard of them, with 56% of renters admitting to not knowing the rating of their current property.

While soaring energy costs have brought this issue to the forefront, improving the energy efficiency of buildings is a key priority for the government in the move to net zero. As part of this, there are current proposals that will mean landlords must improve the EPC rating of their properties by 2025 for new tenancies.

Previous research from Shawbrook showed that the energy crisis had promoted more landlords to make improvements to their properties. 26% have made energy efficiency upgrades to help reduce energy bills for their tenants.

Emma Cox, MD of Real Estate at Shawbrook, said: “With an unprecedented energy crisis, the energy efficiency rating of our homes has become increasingly important. However, the research also indicates that we, as an industry still have much to do in terms of educating those in the rental market on this issue. Interestingly young renters are paying closer attention to the energy efficiency of their properties. While we don’t know whether this is driven more by cost or an interest in sustainability, landlords should assume that it’s only going to increase in importance for tenants.

“Landlords are already making changes to their properties to support their tenants and bring their properties up to the standard that is likely to soon be expected. However, this can be a costly exercise, particularly with the increasing costs of materials and labour.

“At Shawbrook we want to support landlords make these changes and we will continue to evaluate our products to ensure we are providing the right support to landlords.”

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