Tenants avoiding less energy efficient properties

With the cost-of-living crisis hitting people hard in the pocket over the winter period and beyond, energy efficiency is fast becoming a priority for a growing number of tenants.

This trend was highlighted in new research from Shawbrook which revealed 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.

As part of its Confronting the EPC Challenge report, the study 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, also outlined 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 remains 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.

Many buy-to-let lenders have introduced a green offering into their product range for landlords who may be looking to purchase properties at the higher end of the EPC scale or for those looking to successfully upgrade existing properties within their portfolios. As an industry, we are moving in the right direction but there is still plenty of scope to improve knowledge levels amongst landlords and tenants around environmentally friendly options and how to better combat rising energy prices. And this remains an ongoing process.

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