Another Friday Newsround for you.
The Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill
This is a bill aimed at helping the UK achieve its energy commitments from the White Paper and reach net zero by 2050. It has been introduced in both houses at once which is the first time this has happened.
The aims of the bill are that
- All homes should achieve an EPC rating of at least C by 2035, where practical, cost effective and affordable.
- All privately rented homes should achieve an EPC rating of at least C by 2028.
- Mortgage lenders should ensure an EPC band C average for their portfolios by 2030
- The Secretary of State should take reasonable steps to assist owner occupiers to achieve EPC band C
- Non-domestic commercial lettings are to achieve EPC band B by 2030
Jade Lewis, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Association, said:
We are incredibly hopeful that the Minimum Energy Performance Bill will receive the support it rightfully deserves so that it can deliver a lasting impact on the energy efficiency of homes up and down the country whilst addressing key public interest concerns such as unemployment, fuel poverty and climate change.
However, achieving these standards will be difficult for older properties in particular, so hopefully, some financial support will be available to landlords as well as to home owners.
New Modular Homes being built
It may be hard to upgrade older homes to the higher EPC ratings but there is no reason why new homes should not achieve the highest ratings.
So, it’s good to see that this is the case with the new modular homes being built by Legal & General’s modular homes arm, currently building homes in Broadstairs Kent, Selby, Bristol and North Horsham.
All of their homes are designed to achieve an EPC rating of ‘A’. A standard only met apparently by 1% of new and existing buildings in England and Wales.
Eventually, Legal & General hopes to build up to 3,000 modular homes per year by 2024.
Rosie Toogood, CEO, Legal & General Modular Homes, said:
In a post-pandemic environment, the importance of delivering affordable, carbon-friendly homes, set within green open spaces and at the heart of a well-connected local community has moved to the top of the agenda. Through modular construction, Legal & General is able to deliver all of this and in half the time of traditional methods.
Warning: Fraudulent applications soaring
Landlords need to be on the watch for fraudulent applications warns due diligence and guarantee firm Homeppl.
Apparently, there has been a 71% increase in the number of fraudulent applications between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021 – meaning that one in 50 rental applications are now fraudulent, rising to one in 20 in London.
CEO and founder Alexander Siedes says:
The consequences for landlords of inadvertently approving a fraudulent application are dire – up to £30,000 in lost income and legal costs and fines of up to £3,000 for renting to a tenant with no legal right to rent in the UK.
As it is so much harder now to evict tenants, the scammers are increasingly renting properties to illegally sublet them. Homeppl have prepared a report which can be downloaded here.
Which How to Rent Guide do you use?
After loading up a new ‘easy to read’ How to Rent Guide, there has been some confusion as to whether this is the correct guide to serve or whether landlords and agents should serve the December 2020 version.
Apparently, a ministry spokesperson told LandlordZONE:
The easy read version of the How to Rent guide was published yesterday – the December 2020 version is the main, full and most recent version of the guide. The easy read version is just an easy read version of the December document.
Still not entirely sure that is clear to me. Is service of the easy to read version sufficient then on its own? Landlords need to know as failure to serve the correct version can invalidate section 21 notices.
HMRC has announced two webinars for landlords:
- Individuals with income from UK residential property – 27 July @ 4.45 pm, and
- How to complete your online tax return – income from property – no information on the page about the date, presumably you find out once you have booked.
- Thousands of landlords released from ‘cladding hell’ after EWS1 forms scrapped
- The planning system needs to adapt to climate crisis – new report
- Surrender to the churn – deposits and shared houses (see also our post here)
- MP says landlords, tenants and government must ‘shoulder cost’ of rent arrears
- Landlord hands over £2m in assets to National Crime Agency
- Fake estate agency reviews could be made illegal
Newsround will be back next week.