According to a recent industry report, 62% of landlords expressed an interest in mortgages that reward green measures. That’s an encouraging majority, especially in a time where there is confusion and criticism of the upcoming changes to minimum EPC ratings.
Housing Stock “Still Inefficient.”
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) came into effect in 2007 to both demonstrate to renters and homeowners the energy efficiency of a property, and to regulate those with poor energy efficiency.
Since then, it’s become a hot talking point, especially for environmentally conscious young renters, of which students are a big driving force.
The industry states that most of our housing stock is still inefficient, so it’s encouraging that many landlords now feel that such rewards are something worse pursuing.
The survey asked landlords whether they would be interested in a number of rewards for instigating energy efficiency drives in their BTL properties. These hypothetical rewards were financial in nature, for example special discounts or reduced interest rates on those mortgages. This, of course, would be on the condition that the landlord(s) put in measures to improve energy efficiency.
So-called mortgages are likely to offer a recalculated interest rate once the landlord has put those measures in place in their properties. This will reduce how much they must pay back on their mortgage(s), contingent on which improvements they made.
This discount will apply to the lifetime of the mortgage.
New Challenges for 2028
This comes in light of the changes to the EPC and the increased minimum rating required for 2028. In any case, landlords are proving up to the challenge of improving their properties and seek both rewards and reason to do so. Government concerns about large-scale resistance does not seem true, based on this small sample size.
The survey included 300 UK landlords. Most notably, those who purchased their properties before the year 2000 were interested in green mortgages or green measures at the time but have since changed their minds.
It’s clear that long-term attitudes from property owners have now changed in favour of green measures.
The survey also found there was an age disparity. However, this tends to buck the trend of the belief that younger people were more environmentally conscious. Younger landlords (under 45) were less interested in green mortgages while older property owners were more welcoming of these measures.
However, there could be many reasons for this – including that younger property owners were already investing in green housing and less likely to take on those that needed more green improvement.
Banks and other lenders have come in for much criticism for being slower than their continental counterparts to offer greener services and products. It was only last year that green financial products went mainstream.