Applications for the Green Homes Grant can now be made. Buy to Let landlords need to assess their properties and get their applications in as fast as possible because thousands of people will apply. Landlords who are tempted to hold back should consider the impact on their ability to rent their properties if the Government tightens energy efficiency regulations as part of the plans to reach ‘Zero Carbon’ in 2050.
The grant scheme will fund £2 of every £3 spent by a landlord, up to a maximum of £5,000, to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Works can include wall and loft insulation, draught proofing and double glazing – all works that should improve the Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of a property.
Landlords cannot currently let properties with an energy performance rating of F or G (unless they qualify for an exemption). It is widely anticipated that these rules will be tightened further, so Landlords should consider undertaking works that can be done with the grant funding that is available.
Tenants will also benefit as their annual fuel bills should reduce.
The 27 million homes in the UK, which generate up to 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions and energy demand in the UK, are some of the least heat efficient homes in Europe. The Government hopes the grants will improve these statistics and help the UK to meet the commitment to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Landlords whose applications are successful will be issued with vouchers which can be applied to invoices from ‘registered local tradesmen’ who do the necessary works. When the scheme was announced the Chancellor stated that he hoped this would help generate a further 100,000 jobs in the Green Sector.
There are approximately 2.2m landlords in England, with an average of 1.8 properties each – a total of 3.96m buy-to-let properties. If landlords applied for grants to improve the energy efficiency of just 25% of their properties, and got an average grant of £3,300 for insulation, the Green Homes Grant funding would be £3.27bn, and 990,000 homes would have been improved.
The Chancellor announced £2bn to fund grants in 2020/21, and stated he hopes 600,000 homes to be improved, but he made it clear that his funding was based on estimates of take-up of the funding, and indicated it is not capped, which is good news for buy-to-let landlords.
Would you like to know more?
The full details of the Green Homes Grants and how to apply can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme
If you would like to discuss how this may affect you, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact or Heather Powell whose details are to the right.
You can also visit our Property & Construction hub for more insights.