More buy-to-let lenders need to make it clear what their policies are regarding properties that fail the new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations, Mortgages for Business chief executive David Whittaker urged today.
Speaking at today’s Financial Services Expo (FSE) Manchester, Whittaker suggested there would be major issues for advisers and those clients who hold properties which do not meet the new requirement of Grade E or above.
From the 1 April this year, the new requirement was brought in for private rental properties.
Whittaker (pictured) said: “What will lenders’ position be on properties which don’t make the grade? As of now, only three lenders have made their position clear on it.
“Clients will need the right EPCs on all their properties.
“4.3% of all properties are currently in the worst G rating and over 11% of that number are properties in the private rental sector, so there could be a major issue.”
Whittaker also suggested that any landlords thinking the regulatory and political changes impacting the sector had finished, were likely to be disappointed.
He told the broker audience to prepare their clients for more interest from HMRC, citing research in Newham, London, which found over 14,000 landlords within the borough “had no relationship with HMRC, meaning they were not filing a tax return”.
Whittaker added: “HMRC are not going to take their hands off the throats of landlords because they sense a lot of tax to be paid.”
For the future of the buy-to-let market Whittaker reckoned there will be £32bn of gross lending in 2018 and £28bn in 2019, before it bottoms out in 2020.
He urged advisers to focus on limited company buy-to-let, saying it will represent a third of business.