Nearly 50% of brokers and their clients are not confident in their understanding of impending regulations

New research published today (14 June 2023) from Mercantile Trust, the specialist bridging, buy-to-let and commercial lender, has highlighted a lack of awareness among brokers and their property investor clients of the proposed changes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements.

Mercantile Trust’s survey, which garnered over 150 broker responses, found that 48.5% of brokers said they were not confident that they fully understood the government’s proposed new rules regarding EPCs for rental properties.

In addition, nearly half (49.2%) of brokers said their property investor clients had not asked them for any information on the EPC regulatory changes.

The changes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements are due to come into force in 2025, when all properties covered by a new tenancy agreement will need an EPC rating of C or above. All rental properties will need to meet this standard from 2028. Failure to comply risks a fine of £30,000 per property.

The research also revealed that 60% of brokers have not arranged a bridging loan to finance energy efficiency-related refurbishments over the past year but that 66% predicted they would do more business in this area over the coming 12 months.

To help brokers and their clients deal with the impended EPC changes, Mercantile Trust has partnered with Elmhurst Energy to create a free EPC Hints & Tips guide for landlords and property investors.

The guide is designed to help landlords create a plan of action, establishing what needs to be done to each property within their portfolio in order to secure an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above, what the likely costs are to do so and where the financing can come from.

The guide covers:

  • EPC Basics
  • Benefits & Advantages
  • Funding EPC Improvements
  • Opportunities
  • Help & Assistance

Maeve Ward, director of commercial operations at Mercantile Trust, commented: “The new EPC regime for landlords is fast approaching and our research has found that brokers are seeking education and clarification around this important issue.

“Working with Elmhurst Energy, we have produced our EPC guide because everyone in the industry needs to play their part in meeting the demands of the changing regime surrounding energy efficiency. We encourage brokers to download the guide and share it with their property investor clients.

“The key message to brokers and their clients is that doing nothing is not an option. Our guide provides all the information they need to create a viable strategy to deal with the EPC issue, including outlining how landlords can finance improvements to rental properties. Bridging lenders such as Mercantile Trust have already been funding energy efficiency-related refurbishments and are ready to meet the inevitable increase in demand. The main thing is to not delay any further.”