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2025 Eco Targets cause huge concerns among the real estate agents across the UK

A lot has been going on lately in both the Real #Estate & #Property Development industries and one of the most widely discussed hot topics recently is regarding the new 2025 Eco Targets, which cause huge concerns among real estate agents, property developers & landlords. In this regard, Real Estate #Agents from many agencies across the UK have written an open letter to the Ministry of #Housing Communities and the UK government raising their concerns on the newly introduced large demand for energy efficiency targets.

In their letter, the agents are not rejecting the government's plea for properties to be more eco-friendly, in fact, they support the idea completely. What is concerning for them is the time frame along with the financial viability for many #landlords especially considering the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the national #lockdowns.

In more details, in the open letter, real estate agents fully support the Government’s initiative to improve the energy #efficiency in the privately rented #homes and fully understand and support the need to minimise the carbon footprint. However, they have pointed out a number of issues, which may arise in the foreseeable future because of these new requirements. In essence, they are suggesting that the proposed timeframe (2025) in respect of implementing a minimum C rating is far too short and landlords will need time to recover from the financial hardship caused by Covid-19 pandemic, relating to both personal and rental circumstances, before being asked to invest further into the potentially significant #refurbishment of their rental properties in order to meet the new targets.

Additionally, many landlords have been dealing with #rental arrears or rent reductions this year due to the pandemic and electrical regulations have led to the increase of their expenses and more fees were introduced since the implementation of the #Tenant Fees Act. What’s more, the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday introduced this year has already resulted in landlords deciding to sell their properties as there is a higher buyer demand now thanks to the SDLT holiday. That’s why agents’ main argument and concern is that the implementation of these new eco-friendly measures will have a negative impact on the landlords and accordingly cause a huge risk of more landlords exiting the market as further legislative pressures will be added, which will affect the housing market tremendously.

With no information on how or when landlords will need to comply with these energy efficiency requirements, more landlords may decide to sell their properties in order to avoid the pressure of having to spend additional money on their properties for energy efficiency related refurbishments. This will also inevitably lead to rent increases which will most significantly impact those on low income and typically the more vulnerable groups of tenants.

Unfortunately, this could lead to a rise in homelessness if tenants are not able to pay the rent themselves as the majority of people have already been affected negatively by the pandemic - particularly in 2020, the sector has seen a significant increase in tenants signing up to receive a Universal Credit seeking support regarding paying their rent & utility bills.

The Lettings Industry Council then responded with the alternative proposals that all new and renewed tenancies should have a minimum of D rating which is the average rating for all homes by April 2026 and all existing tenancies should have a minimum of D rating and all new and renewed tenancies to have a minimum of C rating by April 2028 and by 1 January 2030, all existing tenancies should have a minimum of C rating and bring the start date forward for the refurbishment works cap from 2023 to 2020, which gives more time to landlords to prepare for these upcoming changes.

This topic provides a lot of food for thought for the property developers as well because there is no doubt that more and more people are interested in buying smart, eco-friendly, low-carbon new build family homes with super-airtight timber panels, stuffed full of wood-fibre insulation, with triple-glazed windows and solar panels on the roof, using up to 10 times less energy than a conventional house and much lower heating demand! Therefore, eco-homes or the so-called solar homes are gaining momentum and are acknowledged as the new “hot property trend” in the industry, suggesting that property developers need to deliver more sustainable project developments to meet the market’s demand as well as the new government requirements!

As our team consists of expert property developers and real estate agents, we at VG Homes 2019 Ltd have also found this topic extremely appealing and engaging – that is why we will be interested to hear your thoughts regarding this matter in the comments!

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