Majority of renters would avoid a property with low EPC rating

Tenants – especially younger ones – are paying closer attention to energy efficiency

Majority of renters would avoid a property with low EPC rating

More than half of private renters (58%) would less likely consider renting a property that is energy inefficient or has an EPC rating of ‘D’ or below.

Citing the findings in its Confronting the EPC Challenge report, specialist lending bank Shawbrook said that young private renters are particularly engaged on energy efficiency, with 72% of renters aged 18 to 34 saying they always check the EPC rating of a property before making any decisions.

The lender noted that with energy costs expected to stay high during this winter and beyond, energy efficiency has become an increasing priority for many homeowners and tenants.

Still, the research, which surveyed over 1,000 private renters, also found a significant knowledge gap surrounding energy efficiency ratings.

Just 7% of respondents felt they “know a lot” about EPC requirements, while a quarter (27%) of tenants say they have heard of EPC requirements but “don’t know anything about them.” A further quarter (27%) had never heard of them, with half (56%) of renters admitting to not knowing the rating of their current property.

Previous research from Shawbrook showed that the energy crisis had pushed more landlords to make improvements to their properties. A quarter (26%) have made energy efficiency upgrades to help reduce energy bills for their tenants.

“With an unprecedented energy crisis, the energy efficiency rating of our homes has become increasingly important,” Emma Cox (pictured), managing director of real estate at Shawbrook Bank, said. “However, the research also indicates that we, as an industry, still have much to do in terms of educating those in the rental market on this issue.

“Interestingly young renters are paying closer attention to the energy efficiency of their properties. While we don’t know whether this is driven more by cost or an interest in sustainability, landlords should assume that it’s only going to increase in importance for tenants.

“Landlords are already making changes to their properties to support their tenants and bring their properties up to the standard that is likely to soon be expected. However, this can be a costly exercise, particularly with the increasing costs of materials and labour.”