Estate agents ‘let down’ by trade bodies over EPC changes

Jeremy Clarke, a Belvoir agent in Dorset, has attacked the representative bodies saying they have done little to help agents and landlords.

Propertymark and NRLA are under fire for failing to effectively oppose new EPC rules for landlords.

Both organisations are being criticised by a Belvoir letting agent in Christchurch, Dorset, who says they have meekly accepted that the changes are coming.

Jeremy Clarke, Belvoir, Christchurch

Jeremy Clarke claims it is too late now to stop the new regulations from hitting landlords who won’t be able to make the necessary changes to their properties.

The Government proposes that any new properties for rent must have a minimum of EPC C rating by April 2025, and existing rental homes by 2028. There are fines of up to £30,000 for non-compliance.

The Neg reported another agent, based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, warning there will be a mass exodus of landlords from PRS.

Accepted change

Clarke says: “They [Propertymark and NRLA] seem to have just accepted that change is coming, they have not, as far as I know canvassed members for views, albeit they normally ignore any feedback! They let us down badly over the Tenant Fee Ban Act!

“We have been saying for the past two years that landlords are nervous and are leaving the PRS, but no recognition of that from the organisations?”

The organisations who purport to act on behalf of landlords and agents should have done something way before now.”

He says around 8% of landlords in his area pulled out of letting when the EPC reforms were announced in 2021, and 10% of rented properties will struggle to make the minimum rating.

“The organisations who purport to act on behalf of landlords and agents should have done something way before now, but they are more interested in being in line with government for the training options than making noise on behalf us!” he says.

Push back
Chris Norris
Chris Norris, Policy Director, NRLA

Chris Norris, policy director at NRLA, told The Neg he would “push back strongly” against the claim the NRLA hasn’t been doing anything.

“There is an awful lot of work going on behind the scenes. The Government hasn’t confirmed it will be 2025, and that’s partly because of the lobbying we have done in the last couple of years.

“The stance we have taken is that it is completely unworkable.” He says it is increasingly unlikely that 2025 will be the deadline.

“We have canvassed members relentlessly on this, and at least three times in the last 18 months,” he says.

The Neg has approached Propertymark for comment.


  1. Please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is this is a private members bill , sponsored by Sir Roger Gale, after the tragic death of Sir David Amess. It is not currently before Parliament, and as deputy speaker, Sir Roger is unable to reintroduce.
    I do not understand why this is causing so much hysteria within the private rented sector when it is a long way from becoming law

  2. Irrespective of Jeremy being right or wrong on this and I do tend to agree we appear as a body to have been rather weak on this. We are wasting time talking to politicians who have already made their minds up we should be using national media and shouting the problems from roof tops so the public understand the issues they will face in three years.
    The rural areas are going to be very badly hit with little understanding that rural living is very different to city living. In Northumberland we have a huge number of sandstone country properties not on gas most on oil and solid fuel. The cost to bring them up to standard could be £20/30k and landlords cannot afford this. Some are saying they will do the minimum spend and apply for exemption but I see up to 20% selling up. This in an area where a local councillor is to have a meeting this weekend to address “the housing crisis locally”. It is a crisis here caused by bad government policies and the likes of Shelter being keen to knock landlords but not able to offer an alternative. Time to realise landlords are part of the solution not the problem but the industry needs to be far stronger in getting the message to the public and the government because there are going to be thousands homeless in a couple of years and rents are going to go through the roof.
    Current ministers will not be there in 2025 we hopefully will be as will thousands looking for rental properties.

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