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Industry Leader Anticipates EPC Rule Exceptions as Challenges Mount

Maxine Fothergill, ex-ARLA Propertymark President, forecasts government concessions on minimum EPC ratings must be made.

Notable property expert and previous ARLA Propertymark President, Maxine Fothergill, anticipates that the UK Government will need to introduce exemptions for landlords when it comes to meeting the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirement of a minimum C rating. Fothergill believes that numerous landlords will have difficulty affording the necessary adjustments to their properties.

Although the deadline for achieving a C rating has been pushed back three years to 2028, Fothergill predicts this won’t be sufficient. She contends that a considerable number of landlords will be unable to cover the expenses associated with retrofitting older homes. Consequently, Fothergill foresees the necessity for numerous exemptions, calling for a practical approach to the situation.

Fothergill, who is the Managing Director of Amax Estates in Gravesend, Kent, and a trainer for landlords and agents, faced challenges herself in meeting the C rating requirement for her own cottage. An energy assessor informed her that a wind turbine would be needed to achieve the desired rating.

The property expert also highlights that many landlords are either leaving the industry or contemplating doing so, especially as the government’s proposed reforms for the private rental sector (PRS) may make it less appealing. Fothergill describes the situation as messy and bordering on crisis.

Recent research from the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) revealed that approximately 60% of landlords would consider selling their properties if they were forced to make costly EPC upgrades. Furthermore, 28% of landlords indicated that the financial burden couldn’t come at a worse time, while 30% disclosed they would most likely pass any additional costs onto their tenants.

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